Dubai firm wins $3bn projects in Armenia
Yerevan, Armenia, January 24, 2013
Dubai-based investment company, Rasia, has been awarded the concession for two key railway and high speed road projects in Armenia, according to a statement.
The Southern Armenia Railway and Southern Armenia High Speed Road Project, totally valued at $3 billion, are a strategic infrastructure investment for Armenia.
During a presentation, signing ceremony and public announcement a tripartite memorandum of understanding on regional cooperation towards the development of the projects was signed between Rasia FZE, South Caucasus Railway and the Ministry of Transport and Communication of Armenia.
The Southern Armenia Railway is anticipated to be a 316-km long electrified single track railway, which will connect Gavar, near Lake Sevan, to the southern border of Armenia by Meghri and will be integrated with the existing central railway system of Armenia, operated by South Caucasus Railway and the operating railway system of Iran.
The Southern Armenia High Speed Road, to be constructed in Armenia's southern province of Syunik, is anticipated to be a 110-km long expressway connecting the town of Sisian to the southern border of Armenia by Meghri.
Both projects will form a part of the International North-South Transport Corridor, which will play a pivotal role in improving regional connectivity and driving economic growth along the corridor, and will create the shortest transportation route from the ports of the Black Sea to the ports of the Arabian Gulf, the statement said.
When the projects are completed, transport costs are expected to improve substantially, fostering greater regional trade and economic growth while dramatically strengthening the Armenian economy.
In 2012, Armenia signed with Rasia two concession agreements for the vitally important transport projects in order to develop them on a Public-Private Partnership basis. The concession terms provide specific periods for completing feasibility studies, engineering designs, project financing and construction and are followed by a 30-year operating period, renewable by Rasia for an additional 20 years.
Among other strengths, the concession terms confer upon Rasia the right to freely establish freight rates and tolls while providing protection from competing projects.
Chairman and CEO of Rasia, Joseph Borkowski, said: "As the key missing link in the International North-South Transport Corridor, the projects have attracted significant regional interest from both strategic and financial partners waiting to participate in their development."
Rasia is already implementing a consortium-based strategy for the feasibility, design, financing, development and operation of the projects, the statement said.
Rasia has successfully negotiated and recently signed framework and commercial agreements with China Communications Construction Company, one of the world's leading companies involved in railway, high speed road, tunnel, bridge, and port construction, to become the lead member of the development consortium. Feasibility study works commenced on December 31, 2012.
Rasia also entered into a cooperation agreement with Hayah Resources, a global natural resources investment group backed by ultra-high net worth families in the GCC and chaired by UAE businessman Rashid Al Malik. This investment group will focus on mineral investments along the corridor and the development of the railway and high speed road projects.
Rasia is involved in direct principal investments and investment management primarily in mining and strategic infrastructure. - TradeArabia News Service
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