Economy, Domestic Economy

Armenian Minister to Pursue Transport Projects

Armenian Minister to Pursue Transport Projects Armenian Minister to Pursue Transport Projects

Armenia’s Transport and Communications Minister Gagik Beglaryan said on Monday he would visit Iran later this year to pursue the planned construction of Iran-Armenia railroad and a potential road corridor from Iran’s port city of Bandar Abbas to Meghri–a town in southern Armenia-to enable Iran and other countries to transport their goods to Europe through Armenia.

The agreement on the construction of the rail link was approved by Armenian and Iranian governments in 2009. In 2012, the Dubai-based Rasia FZE Investment Company was granted a 50-year concession by the Armenian government to build and manage the 305-kilometer railroad from Armenia to Iran, to be named the Southern Armenian Railroad, Armenian news agency ARKA reported.

By late 2013, Rasia FZE contracted the China Communications Construction Company to develop a feasibility study for the project, estimated to cost $3.5 billion. The high cost is explained by mountainous terrain through which it is supposed to pass. The railroad will feature 64 bridges and 60 tunnels.

The railroad is to run from Gagarin station in Armenia’s Gegharkunik province to Agarak in southern Syunik and may transport up to 25 million cargos a year.

According to an Armenian government statement, the Southern Armenia Railroad will create the shortest transportation route from the ports of the Black Sea to the ports of the Persian Gulf and establish a major commodities transit corridor between Europe and the Persian Gulf region.