by Alexandr Avanesov
As soon as Armenia joins the Customs Union, the project to build a railway from Iran to Armenia may come in demand, Integration and Macroeconomics Minister of the Eurasian Economic Commission Tatiana Valovaya said on Saturday.
Answering a question by Head of the Union of Native Producers of Armenia Vazegn Safaryan, Valovaya said that this project has been neglected so far because of its unprofitability, but considering the latest developments around Iran, Armenia may become a transit corridor between that country and the Customs Union. "This will make this project essential and eligible for realization," Valovaya said.
The Iran-Armenia railway is supposed to connect Asia with Central Europe. It will be 300 km long and will consist of 27 stations and 60 tunnels. The estimated cost of the project is $3.2bn. The designer is CCCC International from China, while Rasia FZE from Iran is attracting investments. As much as 60% of the financing will be provided by Chinese banks. The construction is to be started in 2016 and to be finished in 2022.
Referring to the project's feasibility report, CEO of the South Caucasus Railway Viktor Rebets said earlier that the maximum load of the railway would be 15mn-18mn tons. This is enough for the project to pay off.