Zvartnots Cargo Terminal Construction to Drag On

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–Construction of the Zvartnots cargo terminal slated for completion on Oct. 21–will drag on for at least two more months–Head of the Office for Project Implementation Khachatur Bagratian told Noyan Tapan.

He said that the major reasons for the delay were discords between the Office and the government and delays in shipment of needed materials.

All materials needed for construction of the terminal were brought to Armenia via the sea port of Poti in Georgia and because the railroad Poti-Yerevan was heavily overloaded–the government gave preference to shipmen’s of grain and other food products–thus–delaying the delivery of construction materials. Bagratian also complained that one of the reasons for such a delay in construction works was that the government imposed taxes on concluded work.

A loan allocated under construction was exempted from VAT–however–the Finance Ministry believes that it is the American company which is freed from paying taxes–but not local companies which supply building materials. The disputes over this problem have not yet been settled. Bagratian said–that the discords with the Ministry of Nature Protection over drainage and fire-alarm systems are also reasons of delays in the completion of the construction.

The construction of the cargo terminal is being implemented on EBRD-allocated loan worth $22.8 million. Of this sum $15.4 million was allocated under construction works. The design and construction works are being implemented by the US Bill Harbert company which won in a tender announced by EBRD. Deputy Head of the Office for Project Implementation Karen Mkhitarian reported that the initial cost of the project was estimated at $27.8 million. The Armenian side was supposed to pay $5 million.

Meanwhile–builders have managed to save $4 million.

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