Tuesday, September 26 2017 16:19
Naira Badalian

Appetite comes with eating: "North-South" will cost Armenia no longer $ 1 billion, but twice as much

Appetite comes with eating: "North-South" will cost Armenia no longer  $ 1 billion, but twice as much

ArmInfo. The southern part of  the automobile transport corridor "North-South" will cost Armenia $  1.5 billion, and the whole project - $ 2-2.5 billion. Nevertheless,  the republic is determined to complete the project. The Minister of  Transport, Communications and IT of Armenia Vahan Martirosyan stated  this on September 26 at a press conference.

According to the minister, if earlier the entire project - from the  northern to the southern border of Armenia was estimated at $ 1  billion, then for today its only southern section, between the cities  of Artashat and Meghri, according to preliminary estimates, will cost  $ 1.5 billion. The final project for the Southern part not ready, but  until the middle of next year, the design work will be completed, and  as a result of that, the estimate will also require adjustments. Due  to the absence of all the same final design approaches to  construction, Armenia has not appealed to international donor  organizations for financial assistance in the construction of the  Gyumri-Bavra and Artashat-Meghri plots. The project, however, as  pointed out by Martirosyan, will be ready in early 2017.

However, as Vahan Martirosyan stated, the state, in order to not  heavily burden the taxpayer, decided to turn to the private investors  in the issue of construction of the southern part of the route. Lure  them, as explained by the minister, will the prospect of introducing  the practice of toll roads, subject to the availability of  alternative to them - free roads. As for the current works, according  to the Minister, in the first ten days of October, 3 of the 7 bridges  in the Yerevan-Artashat section will be commissioned, the remaining 4  will be continued with additional work, as under the new program  their road surface and access roads to asphalt him. The minister  recalled that, ahead of schedule, the movement under the indicated  bridges was opened, and the works were conducted without restriction  of movement. Ashtarak-Talin, 42 km long, is being constructed on the  left-hand side of the Ashtarak-Talin road, which is under  construction under the Tranche 2 investment program, 11 km of  concrete cover has already been laid, and another 15 km are planned  to be laid before the end of the year. Construction works are being  continued on the sites of Talin-Landzhik (18.7 km), Landzhik-Gyumri  (27.5 km) in the framework of Tranche 3. Preparatory work is under  way to lay the concrete layer.

To recall, the project to create a transport corridor "North-South"  with a total length of 556 km, will provide access to the Black Sea  and European countries through the territory of Armenia  (Meghri-Kapan- Goris-Yerevan-Ashtarak-Gyumri-Bavra) and Georgia. The  $ 1 billion investment program is aimed at securing the connection  between the north (the border with Georgia) and southern Armenia (the  border with Iran) via transport communications that meet high  international standards and access to world markets.  The road will  be covered with concrete. As the authorities of Armenia expect, the  program will allow the country in the future to mitigate the  consequences of the blockade by Azerbaijan and Turkey, to play the  role of a transit state in the freight transportation of the  countries of the region, and also to join the Black Sea ring highway.  The Spanish "Corsan Corviam" won the tenders for the construction of  the first few lines of the route, the Chinese "Sinohydro Corporation"  won the last tender (for the Landik-Gyumri section in the north of  Armenia).

As early as in October 2016, ArmInfo was told by the Office for the  Implementation of Investment Programs for the Construction of the  North-South Motorway, the first agreement on the North-South highway  was signed back in 2009, and the first contract agreement in 2012,  when it began construction of a highway, $ 74mln of ADB's Asian  Development Bank loans were attracted within Tranche 1. In the  framework of Tranche-2, Ashtarak-Talin section, 42km in length, ADB  received another $ 180mln. On tranche-3, on the Ashtarak section  -Talin, Talin-Gyumri attracted $ 60 million of loan funds A BR (Talin  Landik plot - 18.7 km) and $ 84 million was attracted from the  European Investment Bank (Landzhik- Gyumri - 27.5 km) .The Eurasian  Development Bank (EDB) provided the loan for the implementation of  Trash-4 Artashat-Agarak and to the Iranian border ) in the amount of  $ 150 million. As for the works and investments in the framework of  the Tranche-5, during which the construction of the Gyumri-Bavra site  is planned, then, as noted in the SNCO, while the search for funding  sources is underway, .

According to the recent information of the Ministry of Transport of  Armenia, today $ 150 million of credit resources have been spent. $  70 million was spent on the construction of 31 km. The rest of the  funds was used for excavation work on the Ashtarak-Talin and  Talin-Gyumri sections. Also, work was carried out on concreting the  road at 11 km.

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