Eighty seven percent of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) railway has been constructed in Turkey, Ahmet Arslan, Turkish minister of transport, shipping and communications, said.
“The BTK is being constructed on schedule,” the minister said, adding that two bridges are being built over the Kars river.
The minister stressed that the BTK railway project is of particular importance for Turkey. The Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway is being constructed on the basis of the Georgian-Azerbaijani-Turkish intergovernmental agreement.
Azerbaijan allocated a loan of $775 million for the construction of the railway’s Georgian section. SOFAZ finances the project in accordance with the Azerbaijani president’s decree ‘On the implementation of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars project activities’, dated Feb. 21, 2007. The peak capacity of the railway will be 17 million tons of cargo per year.
“Once the BTK railway is commissioned, it will transport five million tons of cargo a year, but the figure can rise up to 17 million tons in the future,” Javid Gurbanov, head of Azerbaijan Railways CJSC, said earlier.
He added that the Georgian section of the BTK railway will be constructed by late 2016.