YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–A new cargo terminal at the Zvartnots Airport is expected to begin operation later this month. Construction began about a year ago under the credit program of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. The new cargo terminal will become the first facility of such high technical capacity in the region. It is designed to serve up to 80,000 tons of cargo a year and has cargo depots supplied with modern technical equipment–heating and freezing chambers.
Armen Ter-Tachatian–deputy chief of the Department of Civil Aviation of Armenia–reported that in the beginning the new terminal will serve only imported and exported commodities (around 25,000 tons). In a year–when foreign companies are expected to launch transit cargo shipmen’s via Armenia–the facility will be used to its full capacity. Thus–Ter-Tachatian said–Armenia is indeed joining the international air transportation network.
The construction project was undertaken by the American Bill Harbert Co. The new terminal will offer 500 jobs.
Ter-Tachatian said that approximately $6 million has been saved from the $22.8 million allocated by the EBRD and $5 million provided by the Armenian government. The EBRD has offered the loan for 12 years at an interest rate of LIBOR+1–with a grace period of two years. The credit agreement stipulates an open international tender to find a partner for a joint five-year operation of the cargo terminal. The first bid came from the M&M Co. of Switzerland which is involved in cargo shipmen’s. Negotiations with the Swiss company are currently in progress.