Iraq and Jordan have completed studies for a planned 420-km rail link and are now considering funding options for the project, an Iraqi rail official has said.
Salam Jaber, director of the general company for railways at the Iraqi ministry of transport, said there were no obstacles blocking the $multi-billion venture which was approved by the two neighboring Arab nations in 2011.
“The primary studies for the rail network linking Iraq and Jordan have been completed,” Jaber told the Iraqi Al Mustakilla news network.
“The two countries are now considering ways to finance the project as soon as possible…there are no hurdles or any technical and administrative problems facing the execution of this project but Iraq has recently been busy with more important and pressing projects, including the grand Al-Faw port project.”
OPEC member Iraq signed a memorandum of understanding with Jordan to construct the single-track rail link in May 2011 and officials said it would provide passenger and cargo services. Iraqi Transport Ministry spokesman Jawad al Kharsan said after the signing that the rail which will link Baghdad with Jordan’s port of Aqaba would have a capacity of six million tonnes of cargo a year.
“This project is very important for Iraq as it will serve its exports, including oil and other products,” the network quoted Abdul Abbas Shayya, a member of the economy and investment panel in parliament, as saying on Tuesday.