ArmInfo. The Eurasian Development Bank (EDB) expects that the implementation of the first phase of the "Development of transport, logistics and roadside infrastructure in the direction of the Upper Lars checkpoint in the Republic of North Ossetia-Alania" investment project will increase the throughput capacity of the checkpoint, with the possibility of its further expansion.
On June 8, during the Eurasian Congress '23 in Sochi, after the ceremony of signing a memorandum of cooperation between the EDB and the Joint-Stock Company Northern Caucasus Resorts, Denis Ilyin, Deputy Chairman of the Bank, told reporters.
According to him, the goal of the project is to radically solve this, as he put it, "headache", which has long prevented both people from traveling and the flow of goods between the North Caucasian Federal District and the South Caucasian countries.
At the same time, Ilyin did not specify the final date of the project implementation, noting that now the Bank, through the Technical Assistance Fund, is developing a feasibility study, preparing project documentation and consulting with several candidates for the project operator. According to him, this is a complex conversation, since it is necessary to involve both state bodies and customs, which should be located there.
"Now the preliminary phase is underway. The project phase should be completed by the end of the year, and I hope that next year we will be able to start the main work," Ilyin said, without mentioning the specific cost of the project, urging to wait for the end of the preliminary project phase. Regarding the structure of financing, the EDB Deputy Chairman noted that in this matter the Bank has established a partnership with the Joint-Stock Company Northern Caucasus Resorts, which manages tourist and recreational special economic zones in the North Caucasus. "This is very important for us, which will allow us to finance this project together, and to do it on terms that will allow the operator to quickly pay for it," Ilyin said.
To clarify whether any cooperation on this issue with Georgia is planned, the Deputy Chairman of the Bank noted that not yet. "At the presentation today, we talked a lot about infrastructure stimulates demand. And today there is probably no need to discuss it with the Republic of Armenia, with the Republic of Georgia in order to involve them. We need infrastructure. Our task is the formation of infrastructur. Once the market, the client has the opportunity to use it practically, then I think the demand will probably increase again," the EDB representative said.
He stated that it is no secret to anyone that the Upper Lars checkpoint cannot cope with the throughput. However, according to him, this problem must be eliminated in such a way as to have further potential for development. "Georgia and Armenia will undoubtedly be direct beneficiaries of this project. When the infrastructure already exists, it is usually used," Ilyin added, saying that the EDB decided to take the first step in solving this problem at Upper Lars.
Earlier, today in Sochi, on the sidelines of the Eurasian Congress'23, a memorandum of cooperation the modernization of the transport, logistics and roadside infrastructure in the Upper Lars direction was signed on. The amount of the project is up to $200 million. Preliminary participation of the EDB is $150 million. A feasibility study for the project is being developed from the funds of the EDB Technical Assistance Fund.
The following will be done: multifunctional wholesale distribution center for food products, parking, gas station, hotel, shops, etc.; a smart system for managing the order of passage through the upper Lars checkpoint.
Project results: increase in throughput; increasing cargo traffic along the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) , improving the quality of service and comfort for tourists and heavy vehicles.
Cooperation component: the project will provide transport connectivity and the creation of a modern logistics hub on the route between Armenia and Russia.