North-South road project

YEREVAN (ARKA) — The government of Armenia is terminating unilaterally a contract with Spanish company Corsan Corviam Construccion, contracted by the former government in 2012 to build 90 kilometers of roads as part of the North-South transport corridor project, Deputy Prime Minister Tigran Avinyan said today during a Q&A session in parliament. The Spanish company had won a $280 million contract to rebuild three sections of highways in Armenia.

“We have problems with Corsan Corviam. The company is going bankrupt, and we are currently in the process of termination of the contract. The likelihood of arbitration process is high,” he said. According to Avinyan, a new tender may be announced to choose another company to accomplish construction of a 40km long road section.

Earlier this year Armenian law-enforcement authorities accused a top executive of the Spanish company of fraud and embezzlement. The first two reconstructed highways connecting Yerevan to the towns of Ararat and Ashtarak were inaugurated in late 2015. Corsan was due to rebuild the remaining 40-kilometer-long road within the next three years.

The goal of 556 km-long North-South Transport Corridor project is to upgrade Armenia’s main corridor road as part of a broader thrust to improve connectivity, and boost trade, growth and livelihood opportunities in the Caucasus and Central Asia sub-regions. The transport corridor will stretch from the southern Armenian town of Meghri, on the border with Iran, to Bavra in the north on the border with Georgia. The North-South transport corridor will enable Armenia to mitigate the effects of the blockade imposed by Azerbaijan and Turkey.

The government has attracted $550 million in loans for the implementation of the project. Of that amount so far $200 million have been utilized.

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