A delegation of the Azerbaijani Transport Ministry will visit Georgia to discuss completing the Georgian Marabda-Kartsakhi section of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway, Azerbaijani Minister of Transportation Ziya Mammadov told the media today.
"The first train is expected to be commissioned via this railway by late 2013," the minister said. "The completion of its construction in Georgia will be discussed as part of the visit to Georgia."
Azerbaijan allocated a loan worth $775 million to construct the Georgian section. The State Oil Fund finances this project in accordance with a presidential decree on the 'Implementation of measures within the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars project', dated February 21, 2007. The State Oil Fund has allocated $403.3 million since the beginning of financing the project until October 1, 2012.
Construction of a new 105-kilometre railway section of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars project is planned. Moreover, the section of the Akhalkalaki-Tbilisi-Marabda railway will be reconstructed in Georgia which will increase its capacity to 15 million tons of cargo per year. It is planned to build a centre in Akhalkalaki for the transition of trains from existing train tracks in Georgia to European ones.
The corridor's peak capacity will be 17 million tons of cargo. This figure will be at the level of one million passengers and 6.5 million tons of cargo in its initial stages.