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Iran to Export Cement Via Turkmenistan Railroads

Wednesday 25 July 2018

TEHRAN (Financial Tribune) — Iran plans to use Turkmenistan-bound wagons to facilitate cement exports to Central Asia, especially Uzbekistan, an official with the Islamic Republic of Iran Railways said.

“Based on bilateral discussions we had at Sarakhs (located at Khorasan Razavi Province) with Turkmenistan’s railroad officials, we reached an agreement to use their high-sided wagons to export cement,” said Shahram Jafari, IRIR’s head of commercial operations.

“The north-eastern neighbour predominantly uses the wagons for sulfur transit through Iran, which will utilize the empty wagons on their return to Turkmenistan.

In eastern Iran, Chinese workers are busily modernizing one of the country’s major rail routes, standardizing gauge sizes, improving the track bed and rebuilding bridges, with the ultimate goal of connecting Tehran to Turkmenistan and Afghanistan. Much the same is happening in western Iran, where railroad crews are working to link the capital to Turkey and, eventually, to Europe. Other rail projects will connect Tehran and Mashhad with deepwater ports in the country’s south.

China has provided a $1.6 bln loan to fund the electrification of the high-speed 926-km railroad from Tehran to the eastern city of Mashhad. That was the first foreign-backed project in Iran after the 2015 nuclear deal was signed. The Belt and Road initiative — a mega project that seeks to connect Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa — put forward in October 2013 by Chinese President Xi Jinping, includes several corridors through land and sea, including the New Silk Road rail route.

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