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Uzbekistan spends hugely for railway network development

10 November 2014 10:30 (UTC+04:00)
Uzbekistan spends hugely for railway network development

By Aynur Jafarova

Uzbekistan has spent over $6 billion for the development of its railway network, Uzbek President Islam Karimov said in his greeting message to the staff of the Uzbekistan Railways State Joint Stock Company on the 20th anniversary of the company last week.

"Over $6 billion of capital investments have been spent for the development of rail transport and infrastructure over the last years,” the president said. “Around $1.8 billion accounted for foreign investments."

He also noted Uzbekistan has constructed over 1,100 kilometers of new railway lines, around 3,800 kilometers were upgraded and about 1,000 kilometers of railway lines were electrified. This has brought the total length of railways up to 6,500 kilometers.

The president went on adding that strategic railway lines such as Navoi - Uchquduq - Nukus - Sultanuizdag with a bridge across the Amu Darya River and Tashguzar - Boysun - Kumkurgan have been constructed in Uzbekistan for the future development of the country.

Currently, the railway sections Marokand - Karshi and Karshi –Termez are being electrified. A new electrified railway line Angren-Pap with a 19-kilometer railway tunnel is being constructed as well.

"The 223- kilometer railway Tashguzar - Boysun - Kumkurgan was financed by the Japan Bank for International Cooperation in difficult climatic conditions,” the president said. “It stretches through a mountain pass at a height of 1,500 meters above sea level. This is a unique railway which has no analogues in Central Asia."

Uzbekistan Railways was established in November 1994 on the basis of the former Central Asian Railway, located on the territory of Uzbekistan.

The total length of Uzbekistan's railways is over 4,200 kilometers. About 60 percent of the cargo turnover in the country and almost 80 percent of total export and import cargo transportation accounted for Uzbekistan's railways.

Uzbekistan to attract WB's loan

A representative of the Uzbekenergo State Joint Stock Company told Trend Agency on November 7 that Uzbekistan will receive a loan worth $60 million from the World Bank in early 2015 for the construction of the external power supply facilities of the Angren-Pap railway line in the Fergana Valley.

The $62 million project envisages the construction of infrastructure facilities, in particular, 110/220 kV high-voltage lines and traction substations for the 130 kilometer Angren-Pap railway line.

“The agreement on the loan has already been reached,” the representative said. “Uzbekenergo specialists and the World Bank experts are finalizing the project details. The first tenders were announced in November to purchase the equipment as part of this project, through the loans."

The loan is expected to be allocated through the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD, part of the WB).

Uzbekistan started construction of the Angren-Pap new electrified railway in July 2013. The railway line with a length of 129 km would run through the Kamchik pass and link the three oblasts in the east of the country - Andijan, Namangan and Fergana - with the remaining part of Uzbekistan.

The project worth $1.9 billion is financed from the state budget, Uzbek railway company's own funds and loans of the international financial institutes. The construction is planned to be completed in late 2017.

A 19-kilometer tunnel under the Kamchik pass is planned to be constructed as part of the project.

Uzbekistan Railways State Joint Stock Railway Company and China Railway Tunnel Group signed a contract for tunnel construction worth $455 million in 2013. China Eximbank delivered a loan for the tunnel construction worth $ 350 million in 2013.

The Kamchik pass is on the Kurama Range at 1,200 meters above a sea level.

The pass is the only automobile route between the Tashkent region and the Pap district of the Namangan region "Tashkent -Osh" (A -373). This strategically important road is periodically closed in winter because of avalanches' threat.

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