North-South Railway Project Aiming For Completion Late This Year

ASHGABAT, TURKMENISTAN – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) fielded a mission to Turkmenistan on 23-29 April 2014 to review the implementation progress of the North-South Railway Project, the organization’s first-ever lending intervention in the country.

A 25-year loan approved by the ADB Board in March 2011 has been financing power supply, signaling, and telecommunication systems for a 289-km stretch between Chilmammet and Buzkhun stations along the transnational North-South railway corridor.

Estimated to be completed in October 2014, the $116.8 million project will help Turkmenistan realize its transit potential as larger volumes of freight entering the country from northern and southern frontiers will flow along a cost-effective transport route to bring tangible benefits to rail carriers and their customers in terms of shorter travel distances and times.

“The Bank attaches much significance to its first loan project in the country, recognizing how important it is to expose the local agencies involved to international best practices in project procurement and management,” said Plamen Bozakov, Resident Representative for ADB in Turkmenistan.

The planned 934.5-km North-South railway corridor links Uzen in Kazakhstan, Gyzylgaya, Bereket and Etrek in Turkmenistan and Gorgan in Iran. It is intended to improve Turkmenistan’s connectivity to Kazakhstan, the Persian Gulf countries, the Russian Federation, and South Asia.

Turkmenistan joined ADB in 2000 and to date their partnership has been aimed at developing economic infrastructure conducive to regional trade and cooperation.