Tuesday, September 26 2017 15:45
Naira Badalian

Minister of Transport: Armenia ready to revise agreement with Racia FZE on construction of Iran-Armenia railway

Minister of Transport: Armenia ready to revise agreement with Racia FZE on construction of Iran-Armenia railway

ArmInfo. Armenia threatens to reconsider the agreement with the only company that undertook to attract investments in the construction of the Armenia-Iran railway. This was stated by the Minister of Transport, Communications and Information Technologies Vahan Martirosyan on September 26 at a press conference.

The Minister noted that, in accordance with an agreement with a private foreign company, it must attract an investor for the construction of a railway. "I met with the director of the company twice, suggested speeding up the process, otherwise, Armenia is ready to revise the points of the agreement," Martirosyan said. He pointed out that the matter was about the company "Racia FZE" and its director Joseph Borkowski. The last meeting with him, the minister said, took place in July this year.

It should be noted that the project for the construction of the Iran-Armenia railway does not appear to be among the priority ones - there are no plans for its implementation in the program of the government for 2017-2022. Nevertheless, as earlier, Vahan Martirosyan stated when answering ArmInfo's question, this does not mean that the authorities refused to implement it.

At the same time, according to him, for today there is nothing that would be optimistic. "At this stage, there are problems with the implementation of the project, deciding which, we will be able to move forward," - said the head of the Ministry of Transport. These problems, as pointed out by Martirosyan, are related both to investors and the implementation of a number of obligations, and to the study of the state of roads. As recognized by the head of the Ministry of Transport, Armenia is already lagging behind the earlier deadlines. According to him, there are certain limitations that, before they are eliminated, do not allow talking about progress. Which exactly - Vahan Martirosyan abstained from calling.  The fact that the railway project "Iran-Armenia", recognized according to the assurances of the Ministry of Transport of Armenia, economically justified, ordered to live for a long time, became clear already at the beginning of this year, when the government decree of January 12 eliminated CJSC "Railroad Construction Directorate "under the Ministry of Transport, Communication and Information Technologies of Armenia.  Then the minister of transport, communications and IT of Armenia Vahan Martirosyan tried to calm the media representatives, noting that this will not in any way affect the implementation of the program for the construction of the Iran-Armenia railway. "As part of the Ministry operates" Railway Management ", which can carry out the relevant functions," - he said. However, saying that negotiations in the direction of attracting potential investors in construction continue, the minister did not name the names and countries - possible participants in the project. "We are working in this direction, but we all realize that the project is not an easy one and requires individual work with each individual investor," he said.  It is noteworthy that the project, which was announced as early as in 2012, is not completely formed for today. "We are discussing the routes of connection with the operating railway via the Sevan coast (Sevan station), the other via the Ararat valley (Yeraskh station). At the moment, the route through Sevan is preferable," Minister Martirosyan explained. As he said, all for the same rough estimates, the payback period of the project is estimated at 22 years.

Back in May 2012, the Armenian and Iranian sides signed a concession agreement, which discussed the feasibility study and the main tasks of designing, building and financing this project. Thanks to the cooperation between Armenia and the investment company "RACIA FZE", a feasibility study for the feasibility of the "Southern Railway" project was developed. Based on the facts studied, it is proposed to build a railway for six years. The cost of the project was estimated at $ 3.5 billion. The total length of the road on the territory of Armenia will be 305 km. It will have 86 bridges, a total length of 19.6 km and 60 tunnels with a total length of 102 km. Construction according to the submitted program, it will be completed in 2022. It is assumed that the volume of cargo transportation by rail from Gagarin station (Gegharkunik region) to Agarak (Syunik region) will be 25 million tons per year. This road, which is 44 km shorter than the planned site of Gavar-Agarak, will be connected to the existing railway network. The launch of the projects "South Railway of Armenia" and "Southern Highway of Armenia" (Iran-Armenia) was announced in January 2013. At the same time, a trilateral Memorandum of Understanding on regional cooperation aimed at the development of the Southern Railway of Armenia was signed between the South Caucasus Railway, the Ministry of Transport and Communication of Armenia and the company Racia FZE, registered in the United Arab Emirates by the company. After that, nothing more substantive took place in respect to   "Racia FZE" and negotiations.

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