Dubai-based Investment Company, Rasia, Awarded $3 Billion Railway and High Speed Road Projects in Armenia

  Dubai-based Investment Company, Rasia, Awarded $3 Billion Railway and High
                        Speed Road Projects in Armenia

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

PR Newswire

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 billion.

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:

PR@rasiagroup.com

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

SOURCE Rasia
 
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