Launch of Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway planned for October 2017
The construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) railway is scheduled for completion in September, – said the Minister of Transport, Maritime and Communications, Ahmet Arsland in an interview with TRT Haber.
According to the Minister, work is currently being performed to complete the project on the territory of Georgia.
Arslan said that after the completion of the BTK railway in September, the operational launch is scheduled for October. He added that work is being carried out to construct a logistical center in Kars.
“The BTK project, together with the Marmara project, will create a railway corridor which will unite Europe with Asia. Tests are already being conducted on a plot on the Turkish side, and construction work is coming to an end. Everything is almost ready in Georgia, with the exception of one small plot of land on the borderland. This work will be completed in September. Once the project has been completed, shipments from, let’s say London, will be able to be sent to Beijing without any obstructions. With the ports of Aktau and Turkmenbashi we will be able to deliver goods to China, India, Pakistan and Afghanistan,” said Ahmet Arslan.
The BTK railway is being constructed on an intergovernmental Azerbaijani-Georgian-Turkish agreement. The maximum volume of shipments through the corridor is estimated at 17 million tonnes per year. In the beginning stages, this indicator will remain at one million passengers and 6.5 million tonnes of goods.
The initial cost for the BTK project was USD 422 million, of which USD 202 million was meant to be used for building the Georgian portion of the railroad, with 220 million on the Turkish segment. However, later the cost was re-evaluated and increased. As of the end of 2008, the cost of the project according to different estimates stands at about USD 600 million.