Sunday, July 3, 2011

Railway linking Iran to Central Asia On Schedule, Funding Approved Despite the U.S.

Railway linking Iran to Central Asia On Schedule, Funding Approved Despite the U.S.
A railroad linking Iran to Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan will be launched by the end of the current Iranian calendar year (ending March 20), says Iranian Minister of Roads and Urban Development Ali Nikzad.

“The railroad will be completed by the end of the year and Iran will be connected to Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Russia and China,” IRIB quoted Nikzad as saying on Tuesday.

The minister added that the 86-kilometer railroad, which draws $150 million, is a portion of a 920-kilometer railway that the three countries agreed to build in 2007.

Nikzad went on to say that Iranian engineers are constructing about 265 kilometers of the railroad inside Turkmenistan. He added that the construction of the Turkmen portion of the railroad will be completed by the end of 2011.

The initial agreement on the construction of the railway was signed between presidents of Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan in the city of Turkmenbashi in April 2007 and Iran joined the project in September 2007.

The 920-kilometer railroad will shorten more than 600 kilometers for transporting goods from Central Asia to the Persian Gulf, and will become one of the important international transportation links between China and Europe.

* Turkmen president approves loans – govt source

* Islamic Development Bank to lend $121.1 mln

* ADB to lend $125 mln for rail link By Marat Gurt

ASHGABAT, June 27 (Reuters) – Turkmenistan plans to borrow more than $240 million on favourable terms from the Islamic Development Bank and the Asian Development Bank for railway and water-supply projects, a government source said on Monday.

“The loans will be used to develop the Turkmen part of a rail link to Iran and for providing water to Balkan province in the west of Turkmenistan,” the source told Reuters.

Turkmen President Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov had signed a decree on acceptance of the loans, the source said on condition of anonymity.

Turkmenistan, a reclusive desert state of 5 million people bordering Iran and Afghanistan, holds the world’s fourth-largest natural gas reserves.

The Saudi Arabia-based Islamic Development Bank would supply $121.1 million to Turkmenistan’s Vneshekonombank to develop a water-supply project in Balkan province, repayable over 19 years with a four-year grace period, the source said.

He said the Asian Development Bank would lend $125 million to the Ministry of Rail Transport, repayable over 25 years with a five-year grace period, to fund the 311-km (194-mile) Turkmen leg of a rail corridor to link Kazakhstan and the Persian Gulf.

The Manila-based ADB approved the loan, its first ever to Turkmenistan, in March. The bank said in a statement at the time that the loan would make up 75 percent of the total project cost of $166.7 million.

The planned rail line is due for completion by September 2012....

Get ready for 150$ OIL by next Spring....

The U.S. economy is never completely ready for higher oil prices, which is one reason they take a nasty economic toll when they arrive. But readiness can be enhanced by awareness of the likely outlook for petroleum prices–and the outlook today is relatively grim, although probably not disastrous.

Despite the recent 20% decline from April highs, new highs on crude, heating oil, diesel fuel, jet fuel and gasoline seem likely over the next 12 months. Following some further easing over the summer, the second leg of the long-term bull market in petroleum–the first occurred in 2007-08–probably will begin this fall....

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