Tbilisi hosts regular meeting of Georgian-Azerbaijani Coordinating Council on Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway project

Baku, January 10 (AZERTAC). A regular meeting of the Georgian-Azerbaijani Coordinating Council on Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway project has been held in Tbilisi.

A report on the construction of the railway for 2013, as well as measures planned to be implemented this year were discussed at the meeting held under the chairmanship of the country`s Deputy Prime Minister, Economy Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili.

BTK project envisages the reconstruction of a 153-kilometer section of Marabda-Kartsakhi rails and construction of a 27-kilometer long railway line from Akhalkalaki to the border with Turkey.

Some 31 percent of the total volume of the work on construction of the Georgian section of Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway has been completed.

The event participants familiarized themselves with the construction works. They noted that the first pilot train will run via the BTK railway at the end of 2014.

The Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway is a regional rail link project that connects Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey.

It is expected that around 30 million tons of cargo a year will be transported via the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway annually. Direct routes to the European rail network will be available.

Azerbaijan has allocated a loan worth $775 million for the construction of the Georgian section of the railway. This project is being financed by the State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan. This came after Azerbaijan`s President issued a decree on the 'Implementation of measures within the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars project', dated February 21, 2007.

The total length of the BTK is 826 kilometers (about 513 miles). After commissioning the railway, mutual trade between Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey will increase significantly and the total volume will exceed $ 10 billion per year.

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