• publish: 18 April 2018
  • time: 12:50 pm
  • category: Economy
  • No: 6403

Uzbekistan gives $500m for Mazar-Herat railway

Afghan ministry of finance says that Uzbekistan has pledged to provide $500 million for construction of Mazar-e-Sharif to Herat railway.

According to Afghan ministry of finance, Uzbekistan has pledged to provide US$500m to part-fund the construction of a 657 km railway from Mazar-i-Sharif to Herat, following an international conference on Afghanistan held in Toshkent on March 26-27.

The railway gazette has reported that the proposed line would be an extension of the existing 75 km route from the Uzbek border to Mazar-i-Sharif. It would connect in Herat with a railway which is currently under construction from Iran, and thus provide a transit route from Central Asia, and potentially China, to Iran and Europe.

The Afghanistan Railway Authority estimates that the new line would cost US$1·8bn. The government is seeking additional funding from other countries, and has held talks with Iran and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, while China has also expressed interest in the project.

A contractor could be selected in the near future, according to AfRA, and construction would take two years. AfRA estimates that Afghanistan would earn about US$40m/year from the line.

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