Azerbaijan secures loan for locomotives

By Azernews

By Nigar Abbasova

A consortium of French Societe Generale and BNP Paribas, as well as the French branch of the HSBC Bank has issued a credit worth Ђ277 million for Azerbaijan.

 The financial means will be used for the purchase of locomotives, which will operate on Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) railway road.

Azerbaijan Railways launched a long-term program for the sustainable renovation and modernization of its railways in 2006. The program included reconstruction of infrastructure and gradual switch from direct current to alternating current as well as gradual replacement of obsolete trains running on existing lines.

In this regard, in 2014, the authority signed a contract with Alstorm Company on the supply of locomotives, while the final agreement was reached in May 2015.

The total worth of the contract is Ђ300 million.

Alstom will supply some 50 electric locomotives with 40 of them being freight and 10 dual voltage passenger locomotives. Delivery of the units is scheduled to begin by late 2017.

 The AZ8A electric locomotives with the capacity to pull up to 9,000 metric tons at a speed of 120 km per hour are considered to be one of the most powerful in the world. 

The BTK is expected to expand multi-modal transportation opportunities, ensure the growth of passenger and freight transportation and boost the transit potential of the regional countries.

Turkey’s Transport Minister Ahmet Arslan earlier said that work on the 826km corridor would finish in mid-2017. By that time, the railway will be ready for the start of commercial services.

The peak capacity of the railway will stand at 17 million tons of cargo per year. At the initial stage, this figure will be one million passengers and 6.5 million tons of cargo.

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