Iran, Russia railroad projects benefit Asia, Europe: official

Source: Xinhua| 2017-09-12 22:08:54|Editor: Mengjie
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TEHRAN, Sept. 12 (Xinhua) -- Iran and Russia's joint railroad projects are profitable not just for both countries, but also for Asian and European states, an Iranian railway official was quoted by Financial Tribune daily as saying on Tuesday.

"An important element of our (Iran, Russia) cooperation is the International North-South Transport Corridor," the chairman of Islamic Republic of Iran Railways' International Affairs Department, Abbas Nazari, said.

The International North-South Transport Corridor is a 7,200-kilometer interconnected network of railroads, roads and shipping lanes designed to facilitate the flow of freight through India, Iran, Russia, Azerbaijan, as well as European and Central Asian states.

Iran seeks to establish its railroads as the primary transit element of the corridor, Nazari said.

Russia and Iran need each other to move their freight between Europe and Asia, and that Tehran enjoys an unprecedented level of technological cooperation with Moscow, Nazari said.

The Iranian segment of the corridor is about 2,000 kilometers, he said.

Iran cooperates with Russia on several other important rail-related ventures, like the joint manufacturing of railroad carriages and the electrification of its railroad, as well as on other large-scale infrastructure projects, he added.

Iran Industrial Development and Renovation Organization (IDRO) signed a preliminary 2.5-billion-euro (3-billion-U.S. dollar) contract with Russia's CJSC Transmashholding in Tehran on July 31 for joint production of rolling stock in Iran.

Based on the contract, a joint venture will be formed between IDRO and the Russian company, with the Russian side holding an 80 percent stake and the Iranian side a 20 percent.

Transmashholding CEO Kirill V. Lipa told Financial Tribune daily that the capacity of the joint venture would depend on the depth of localization.

"For assembling, we're thinking about 300-400 units per year," he said.

The largest manufacturer of locomotives and rail equipment in Russia, with Dutch firm Breakers Investments BV and French engineering group as its stakeholders, would be taking over Iran's Wagon Pars Company to start manufacturing.

Nazari also said that "We're working together with Russia on developing the biggest docking area in Iran's Shahid Rajaee Port."

"The ongoing negotiations cover all aspects of this undertaking: the port itself, the access railroads and the special economic zone. Once all these matters are settled, the developing process will begin in earnest," he pointed out.