Rasia, China Communications Construction Company, and South Caucasus
Railway to cooperate with the Republic of Armenia
PR Newswire

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YEREVAN, Armenia, Jan. 24, 2013

YEREVAN, Armenia, Jan. 24, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Pursuant to an
instruction by the President of the Republic of Armenia, Minister
Gagik Beglaryan of the Ministry of Transport and Communication of
the Republic of Armenia announced the launch of the Southern Armenia
Railway and Southern Armenia High Speed Road Projects, a strategic
infrastructure investment for Armenia valued at approximately US$3

During a presentation, signing ceremony and public announcement
attended by senior government officials, ambassadors, investment
and sovereign funds, and corporate executives from Armenia, China,
Russia, the United Arab Emirates, and Iran, a tripartite Memorandum of
Understanding on regional cooperation towards the development of the
Southern Armenia Railway was signed between Rasia FZE, South Caucasus
Railway CJSC, and the Ministry of Transport and Communication of the
Republic of Armenia.

The Southern Armenia Railway is anticipated to be a 316km long
electrified single track railway, which will connect Gavar, near
Lake Sevan, to the southern border of Armenia by Meghri and will be
integrated with the existing central railway system of the Republic
of Armenia, operated by South Caucasus Railway CJSC and the operating
railway system of Iran. The Southern Armenia High Speed Road, to be
constructed in Armenia's southern province of Syunik, is anticipated
to be a 110km long expressway connecting the town of Sisian to the
southern border of Armenia by Meghri.

Both projects will form a part of the International North-South
Transport Corridor, which will play a pivotal role in improving
regional connectivity and driving economic growth along the Corridor,
and will create the shortest transportation route from the ports of
the Black Sea to the ports of the Persian Gulf. When the projects are
completed, transport costs and times for the region are expected to
improve substantially, fostering greater regional trade and economic
growth while dramatically strengthening the Armenian economy. The
implementation of these projects is envisaged by the electoral program
of the President of the Republic of Armenia Mr. Serzh Sargsyan and
is among the top strategic priorities for the Republic of Armenia.

In 2012, the Republic of Armenia signed with Dubai-based investment
company, Rasia FZE, two concession agreements for the vitally important
transport projects in order to develop them on a Public-Private
Partnership basis. The concession terms provide specific periods for
completing feasibility studies, engineering designs, project financing
and construction and are followed by a 30-year operating period,
renewable by Rasia for an additional 20 years. Among other strengths,
the concession terms confer upon Rasia the right to freely establish
freight rates and tolls while providing protection from competing
projects. Chairman and CEO of Rasia, Mr.

Joseph Borkowski said, "As the key missing link in the International
North-South Transport Corridor, the projects have attracted significant
regional interest from both strategic and financial partners waiting
to participate in their development." Rasia is already implementing
a consortium-based strategy for the feasibility, design, financing,
development and operation of the projects.

Rasia has successfully negotiated and recently signed framework and
commercial agreements with China Communications Construction Company
Ltd, one of the world leading companies involved in railway, high
speed road, tunnel, bridge, and port construction, to become the
lead member of the development consortium. Feasibility study works
commenced on December 31, 2012.

The territory along the North-South Transport Corridor is endowed with
significant natural resources, which has already attracted a number
of foreign companies who have made major investments in the region. Mr.

Borkowski indicated that, "Rasia and its consortium members will aim
to boost potential local and international transit freight volumes by
investing in the development of mineral and agricultural projects along
the Corridor. We have already held early stage discussions with China
state-owned enterprises regarding potential joint venture investments
in mineral and agricultural projects which will have the effect of
enhancing the economic appeal of the railway and road projects. There
will be additional effort to seek the involvement of nations, and
companies, benefiting from the Corridor including Russia, Iran, India
and the countries of Europe, Central Asia, and the Gulf Cooperation
Council ("GCC") in order to enhance regional trade relations."

Rasia also entered into a cooperation agreement with Hayah Resources,
a global natural resources investment group backed by ultra-high net
worth families in the GCC and Chaired by UAE businessman H.E. Rashid
Al Malik; this investment group will focus on mineral investments
along the Corridor and the development of the railway and high speed
road projects.

The implementation of the projects is already marked by strong
regional cooperation. Three separate Memoranda of Understanding were
previously signed between the respective Ministries in the Republic of
Armenia and the Islamic Republic of Iran related to the construction
of a direct railway connection between Armenia and Iran. Rasia has
recently entered into negotiations with the Ministries for signing a
new tripartite Memorandum of Understanding unifying the efforts for
developing direct railway communication between Armenia and Iran.

During the announcement presentation, Mr. Viktor Rebets, General
Director, South Caucasus Railway CJSC elaborated on the work already
completed in Armenia in support of a North-South Transport Corridor.

Mr. Rebets stated "During the period between 2008 and 2012, our
investment program exceeded 90 billion drams (US$225 million) which
was allocated by Russian Railways OJSC. A massive reconstruction
program of railway infrastructure was implemented using these funds
including track and station facilities, systems of electrification
and power supply, communication, centralization and blocking."

During this time, as a part of the infrastructure modernization
program, more than 300 km of track, 160 technological objects,
33 artificial structures, 130 km of contact network, and 140 km of
power lines were repaired. In 2012, 3 major railway bridges that were
built in 1898 were commissioned including the Zamanlinsky bridge,
the Satanikamurj bridge, and the bridge on the Kober-Tumanian span.

Infrastructure improvements over the past 4 years have now allowed
for the increase of substantial traffic volumes. Expansion of the
railway network of Armenia and increased mining activity in Armenia are
creating new jobs, economic growth, and increases in traffic volume.

South Caucasus Railway also has the capacity to operate the new
Southern Armenia Railway section for Rasia. The company has created a
strong base for the maintenance and repair of locomotives and rolling
stock, introduced modern technologies for transportation process
management, and improved the qualifications of technical staff.

Construction of the Southern section of the railway in Armenia and
connection to the railway network of Iran will form a new international
transport corridor linking the countries of the Black Sea region with
the Persian Gulf countries and India.

About the Parties

Rasia FZE ("Rasia") and Rasia Group, Rasia Management LLC, Southern
Armenia Railway Pte Ltd., and Southern Armenia High Speed Road Pte
Ltd. are members of the "Rasia" group of investment and investment
management companies based in Dubai, UAE, the Cayman Islands, Armenia
and Singapore. Rasia is involved in direct principal investments and
investment management primarily in mining and strategic infrastructure.

China Communications Construction Company Ltd ("CCCC") is one of the
world's largest construction companies and international general
contractors based in the People's Republic of China, specializing
in planning and design, project development, equipment procurement,
trade, construction and facilities management. CCCC is one of the
leading companies involved in railway, high speed road, tunnel,
bridge, and port construction worldwide.

South Caucasus Railway CJSC ("SCR") is a 100% subsidiary of Russian
Railways OJSC and provides concession management of the existing
railway system in Armenia. Armenian Railways CJSC was referred to
the concession management of SCR according to a Concession Agreement
signed on February 13, 2008. The term of the concession management
is 30 years with possible extension for another 10 years. Currently
South Caucasian Railway CJSC is a member of the International Union
of Railways (UIC), the International Rail Transport Committee (CIT),
and the Organization for Railways Cooperation (ORC) with the status
of associated enterprise.

For further information please contact by email:

[email protected]

Public Relations Rasia FZE Emirates Towers Level 41 Sheikh Zayed Road
Dubai, United Arab Emirates P.O. Box 31303


From: Baghdasarian