Thursday, November 9 2017 17:30
Naira Badalian

The patience cup of the Armenian government is overflowing: It threatens to realize the construction of the Iran-Armenia railway bypassing RACIA FZE

The patience cup of the Armenian government is overflowing: It  threatens to realize the construction of the Iran-Armenia railway  bypassing RACIA FZE

ArmInfo. The Armenian Ministry  of Transport, Communications and IT accuses RACIA FZE, a  concessionaire for the construction of the Iran-Armenia railway, in  violation of the deadlines stipulated by the agreement and the  implementation of other obligations.

According to the press service of the Ministry, the Armenian  government is making efforts to implement the project of building a  railway to Iran, bypassing the "RACIA FZE". As the agency reminds, in  2012 the Armenian government signed a concession agreement on the  southern railway from Armenia with the company Racia FZE.  The  agreement provides for the construction of a 316 km long railway from  the Armenian city of Gavar to the southern border of Armenia near  Meghri, which, according to the project, will be connected to the  central railway system in the country. The document stipulates  specific deadlines for carrying out studies on the implementation of  the program, as well as the stages of program financing, construction  and commissioning.

"The government of Armenia was patient with Racia FZE, but the  company regularly violated the deadlines and other obligations  stipulated by the agreement, taking into account this and the  strategic importance of the project for Armenia, the government is  making efforts to implement the construction of the railway  bypassing" RACIA FZE "According to the report, with new information,  the ministry promised to share it.  Earlier, on Sept. 26 at a press  conference, the Minister of Transport, Communications and Information  Technologies Vahan Martirosyan stated that Armenia might revise the  agreement with the only company that committed to attract investments  in the construction of the Armenia-Iran railway. 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. Martirosyan avoided stating which  exactly.  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 the" 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," explained Minister  Martirosyan. As he said, all for the same rough estimates, the  payback period of the project is estimated at 22 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 Racia FZE company, registered in the  United Arab Emirates by the company. After that, nothing more  substantive about "Racia FZE" and negotiations with it was not  announced.

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