The report also notes that $US 151.5m was invested by Sofar in the project in 2012, while total planned investments have increased to $US 755m. Azerbaijan was previously expected to allocate $US 600m towards construction of the new line, while Sofar has reportedly provided Georgia with a $US 775m loan for reconstruction of its section.

In total 105km of new infrastructure is being built, including 29km in Georgia and 76km in Turkey, while the remaining 721km of existing railway in Georgia and Azerbaijan is being modernised. The line is expected to carry up to 15 million tonnes of railfreight per year, and have an overall capacity for 17million tonnes. In addition a gauge-changing terminal is being built at Akhalkalaki to enable freight to transfer from 1520mm-gauge track used in Azerbaijan and Georgia to 1435mm standard-gauge used in Turkey.

Armenia has requested to use the new railway, however, Azerbaijan's transport minister Mr Ziya Memmedov told journalists on February 14 that access will be refused until the dispute over the Nagorno-Karabakh frontier region is resolved.