North West | Transport, logistics

Russias $3.5bn Belkomur rail dream re-ignited

30 Jan '09
The RF Government wants to push with the White Sea Komi Urals (Belkomur) railroad project with support from the RF Investment Fund, RIA Novosti reported today, citing head of the Ministry for Industry and Energy of the Republic of Komi Nikolai Gerasimov.

The cost of the project is estimated at $3.5bn, the minister said.

The Investment Fund is to deliver its decision on the matter in February, RIA Novosti said.

According to the RFs Railroad Development Program adopted earlier, construction of new sections of Belkomur is scheduled for 2015, while commissioning is expected by 2030.

As Mr. Gerasimov said, Belkomur will connect Perm Region, Komi and Arkhangelsk Region and will also link them to Finland. The next objective will be the introduction of the shortest possible route to Northern Europe from Siberia and Asian countries, he said.

Belkomur is expected to make a rail route between Siberia and White Sea ports 800 km shorter and cut the cost of cargo transportation in half, he added.

According to RIA Novosti, the rail project will be 1,311 kilometer long.

Part of the route already exists. Construction began in 1996 but was frozen in 2002 through lack of finance.

Businesses in the regions involved have already announced as much as $13bn worth of commitment for further development of the Belkomur infrastructure as soon as the railroad is in place, RIA Novosti reported.
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