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Thu, 03/30/2017 - 09:36
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North-South project’s FS to be ready in August: ADB

Baku, Azerbaijan, Mar. 29 By Maksim Tsurkov, Anvar Mammadov – Trend: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) expects the feasibility study for the project to finance the North-South railway corridor and develop Azerbaijan’s railway sector will be prepared no later than August, Nariman Mannapbekov, head of ADB’s Azerbaijan office, told reporters in Baku March 29. He added that the ADB mission has recently visited Baku in connection with the project. “In the next few days, we will send our proposals to the country’s government and, in particular, to the head of the Azerbaijan Railways about possible financing of the priority sections of the North-South corridor,” he added. “We cannot disclose the exact amount [of financing] yet, as a grant has been approved for working out a feasibility study for the project, consultants have started their work, and the feasibility study will be ready in late July-early August,” he said. “Only afterwards it will be possible to disclose an approximate amount,” Mannapbekov added. Earlier, the ADB postponed the review of issuance of a $200 million loan for the North-South railway corridor project, as well as the development of Azerbaijan’s railway sector. The bank planned to review the project on Apr. 15, but it has been rescheduled for Aug. 25. The loan will be mostly used for development of the railway branch from Baku to Yalama on the border with Russia as part of the International North-South Transportation Corridor (INSTC) project and supporting expansion of management autonomy of Azerbaijan Railways CJSC, effective financial restructuring of the company’s liabilities, expansion of financial and management control, efficiency and accountability in the company, as well as business development and corporate restructuring of the company. Infrastructure reconstruction as part of the North-South project envisages restoration and rehabilitation of the 441-kilometer Baku-Yalama railway section, development of a computerized system of cargo operations management and rendering consulting services within the project. The loan will be received by Azerbaijan Railways CJSC. ADB, based in Manila, was established in 1966 and is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Azerbaijan became the ADB member on Dec. 22, 1999.