YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–A new cargo terminal at the Zvartnots Airport is expected to yield sizable profits and cover its expenses–reported Vaharshak Mnatsakanian–chief of the Department of Civil Aviation.
The project will be completed in about a month to become one of the region’s largest air cargo transportation centers. The terminal is to be operated by the Dutch Cargo Service Center company for a year. Thereafter–an open competition will be held to determine a foreign partner.
The airport handled 25,000 tons of cargo last year–and this year’s volume may reach 35,000 tons. The terminal’s capacity is 100,000 tons per year.
"This facility has been designed for long-term operation. It will be operated at its full capacity in the near future. Also–its current capacity can be doubled," said Mnatsakanian. As the only cargo terminal of its kind in the region–it is likely to have a full work schedule.
The cargo terminal had been designed by the American company A.S.L. Engineering and constructed by the American firm Bill Harbert International Construction Inc. Consultations were provided by the British firm of W.S. Atkins Co.
The construction project cost $15.42 million. Mnatsakanian explained that work had been funded with a $ 22.8 million loan from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and a $5 million loan provided by Armenia. The agreement was signed in April 1994. Repayment of the loan began in March and will be complete in the year 2007. The annual interest rate is LIBOR-plus 1 percent.
Mnatsakanian said the credit program will allow them to save up to $3 million.