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The bridge project was drawn in coal
Could another series of public protests against the construction of coal terminals in the Far East stimulate the construction of a bridge to Sakhalin?
Glavgosexpertiza has started an audit of the project for the construction of a railway crossing to Sakhalin, which is tentatively estimated at almost 600 billion rubles. In addition, industry institutes have worked out options for downloading a new message. But for the start of construction, experts say, a political decision will be required at the level of the country's leadership, as was the case with the Crimean Bridge. However, unlike the latter, there is no need to wait for serious volumes of passenger traffic on the bridge from the mainland to Sakhalin; a cargo base, which is likely to be based on coal, is brought under the justification of the expediency of the transition. But whether the Sakhalin Region in the future will be able to convince its residents of the safety of placing new export coal terminals on the island, and even against the background of protests in the Khabarovsk Territory, is still an open question.
AUDIT AT THE PRE-DESIGN STAGE
According to and. about. Head of the Far Eastern branch of the FAU "Glavgosexpertiza of Russia" Igor Kokhan, the documentation for the construction of the Selikhin - Nysh railway line, including the construction across the Nevelskoy Strait, was submitted to the institution for consideration.
“I would like to emphasize that this is a pre-project stage. We are considering the documentation from the point of view of a technology-price audit, ”said Kohan.
The Dalgiprotrans Institute (Khabarovsk) was entrusted with the development of basic design solutions for the construction of infrastructure for the mainland-Sakhalin overland communication on the instructions of Russian Railways. As reported at a meeting in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, I. about. Deputy Head of the Federal Agency for Railway Transport Eduard Burdinsky, the project is tentatively estimated at 576 billion rubles excluding VAT. Of these, 226 billion are provided for a bridge crossing with approaches and 350 billion for a railway line that will run through the territory of the Khabarovsk Territory (more than 450 km of track will need to be built) and the Sakhalin Region (127 km).
“Our task is to assess how correctly the project is drawn up. And then it will be possible to work with these figures, ”Igor Kokhan clarified in turn.
On the Selikhin - Nysh line, it is planned to build a large number of artificial structures: over 400 culverts, 100 small and medium bridges, 35 large bridges, 27 road and railway overpasses. The largest engineering facility will certainly be the transition between Sakhalin and the mainland.
Earlier, experts recognized the construction of a bridge from Cape Lazarev (middle section) to Cape Pogibi, where the narrowest section of the Nevelskoy Strait, is the best option. There it is necessary to build a main bridge crossing about six km long, as well as approach dams within the water area: one km - from the mainland and a little more than two km - from Sakhalin.
The bridge will become the longest in the Far East, not counting the low-water bridge across the Amur Bay near Vladivostok. Over 86,5 thousand tons of metal structures will be needed for the installation of spans across the Nevelskoy Strait alone. Another 180 thousand tons of metal will go to the foundation of the bridge supports - a cluster of piles made of metal pipes with a diameter of three meters on top to combine with a reinforced concrete grillage. Monolithic reinforced concrete also needs a significant volume - more than 700 thousand cubic meters.
ROAD TO LOADING THE ISLAND
The idea of creating a continent-island transition does not lose importance, the regional authorities emphasize.
“According to experts, the construction of the bridge will give a powerful impetus to the development of the economy of the entire macro-region, the Sakhalin region in particular, and closer cooperation with the Asia-Pacific countries,” said Sakhalin Governor Valery Limarenko.
Now the question is taking on a new meaning after the completion of the project to reorganize the existing railway network on Sakhalin. Works worth over 40 billion rubles have been going on the island highway since 2003. As a result, about 950 km of main, station, access roads were transferred to a wide track, 390 turnouts were replaced, and 171 bridges were reconstructed. In addition, the systems of signaling, centralization and blocking, power supply, communications, objects of the locomotive complex were modernized.
On July 31, after the reconstruction, train traffic began on the Kholmsk - Shakhta section. In fact, this was the final event of the rewiring of the island highway from 1 mm to 067 mm gauge (not counting the small suburban direction Kholmsk - Nikolaychuk, where track works will take place in October) - from that day on, cargo delivery by rail throughout Sakhalin began to be carried out in a single technological process, without changing carriages.
Meanwhile, experts believe that the renewed highway can truly unleash its potential only with the emergence of a railway line that will connect the island and the mainland.
“Reconstruction of the railway on Sakhalin is the first step. The next step is to build the Selikhin-Nysh road to ensure that the funds spent on the island highway are returned, for the further development of the territory to proceed, and an entrepreneurial business plays an active role in the economy, ”the Deputy Director General for Science of the Institute for Economics and Transport Development is convinced (IERT) Sergey Sharapov.
For Russia, he continues, the construction site will provide a third trunk exit to the Pacific Ocean.
“Together with the Far Eastern Research Institute of the Marine Fleet, we have worked out the question of whether the construction of this line will make it possible to create a large port on Sakhalin. In the region of Ilyinsk near the Tatar Strait there is a free territory, a large power station is built nearby. It is a very convenient place: the bay is non-freezing, the depths are decent - for receiving ships with deadweight of 50-100 thousand tons. "
Now the volume of transportation along the island highway is not great. Annually, about one million tons of various cargoes are sent from the stations of the Sakhalin region of the Far Eastern Railway, about the same amount is received from the Vanino - Kholmsk ferry crossing. The head of the Sakhalin Railway in 1995-1999, Boris Mozgovoy, does not see any significant increase in traffic after the reconstruction of the existing infrastructure without the Selikhin-Nysh line.
“Some local coal miners have revived, but even then some of them are leaving for the fleet, bypassing the railroad,” says Boris Mozgovoy.
According to the IERT's forecasts, with shipments along the Selikhin-Nysh line, the island highway will additionally receive 10-12 million tons annually - and this without the port in Ilyinsk, and with it - about 40 million tons.
“The idea connected with the year-round passage between the island and the mainland was that the Vanino port cannot cope with the volume of transportation, and it is necessary to divert the cargo traffic to Sakhalin across the bridge, and to develop a large port here. Then maybe something will work out. And so the island highway will be a local road. Moreover, in the Sakhalin region, road transport is being developed thoroughly, displacing railway transport from the market of transport services, "says Boris Mozgovoy.
According to the target parameters of the modernization program for the BAM and Transsib (Eastern Range), by 2025 the infrastructural capabilities of the Far Eastern Railway should provide up to 83,4 million tons of cargo to the Vanino junction annually. Moreover, this volume will actually be filled with operating stevedoring companies.
The Daltransugol company (part of SUEK) received the status of a resident of the Free Port to implement plans to increase the capacity of its terminal in Muchka Bay to 40 million tons of coal transshipment per year. The recently launched VaninoTransUgol terminal (part of the Kolmar group of companies) plans to increase annual fuel shipments to 24 million tons in the future. The Vanino Commercial Sea Port notified the railway workers of its intentions to increase cargo turnover - up to 15 million tons per year.
Holding "A-Property", which intends to develop the Elginskoye coal deposit, wanted to create a terminal (Port Dalniy) at Cape Vesel, not far from Sovetskaya Gavan. In the coming years, he planned to increase the shipments from the Elga open-pit mine to 30 million tons annually. However, everything turned out to be not so smooth. Residents of the village of Zavety Ilyich recently staged a rally - they opposed the start of construction of the terminal, deforestation and the neighborhood with the "dusty" enterprise. Even investments in the development of the port and social infrastructure did not entice people. As a result, the company informed the municipal authorities that it was canceling the construction.
Other companies expressed their desire to organize export through the terminals of the Khabarovsk Territory. In particular, the initiator of the development of the Elegest coal deposit in Tuva, Tuva Energy Industrial Corporation, intended to build a transshipment complex in the Vaninsky port area for 15 million tons per year. Mongolia was looking for an export channel for its coal on the Pacific coast. However, the authorities of Primorye and Khabarovsk Territory, at meetings with representatives of the Mongolian side, pointed to a shortage of railway and port facilities in their regions. Together, the aggregate demand for the creation of new coal logistics facilities at the end point of the BAM is the main argument for the construction of the bridge. Strange as it sounds, the more projects fail in Vanino, the more weighty the construction of the bridge as an alternative.
Sakhalin Oblast has a special relationship with the coal industry. On the one hand, coal mining is developed in the region, in particular, a modern coal terminal with offshore transshipment operates in the port of Shakhtersk. It is operated by the subsidiary of the Eastern Mining Company, which is an example of socially responsible business in the region. On the other hand, the capital of the region, the city of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, practically got rid of coal generation back in 2014 (coal at the CHPP in small volumes, but arriving)and since then, environmental rhetoric and concern for the health of residents have been key aspects of the internal policy of the regional authorities.
How, in this political configuration, to justify projects for the construction of large capacities for the transshipment of "foreign" coal, which will come from the mainland and shipped for export, without resting on reasonable questions of local residents is an open question. And if now the main thesis in favor of a bridge at the regional level is a hypothetical reduction in the cost of logistics for consumer goods, then with the prospect of the appearance of new coal logistics terminals in the region, such argumentation may not be enough. There are hardly any reasons to convince the Sakhalin residents to take away even part of the port coal dust from the Khabarovsk residents.
BY ANALOGY WITH CRIMEA
Sergei Tishkin, director of the representative office of Wagon Repair Company-1 JSC in Khabarovsk, who headed the Sakhalin railway in 2005-2009, notes that with the launch of the Selikhin-Nysh line, problems in the delivery of goods to the island would be eliminated, which still remain.
“I think that today it has become easier for many when delivering cargo to Sakhalin, since there is no need to rearrange the carriages. The only ferry crossing remains a serious barrier. At one time, ten ferries were built, and now there are three in operation. It is important for the owner of the rolling stock that his carriage is working, but the delivery by ferry increases the time of transportation - round trip takes at least a day, if the weather is good. And if there is a storm and difficulties at the Vanino and Kholmsk stations, the turnover of the wagon slows down, while the operator's costs increase due to the sea fee, "says Sergei Tishkin.
According to him, at one time in the Sakhalin region many different investment projects were initiated, but there will not be significant volumes of transportation until the bridge appears. “It was believed that approximately 30% of the growing cargo traffic that Vanino is addressing, Sakhalin, if there is a branch, will be able to take it to its ports, which are empty: Kholmsk, Korsakov, Nevelsk. And the total flow would increase, and the logistics would become better - the Sakhalin ports are much closer to Japan or Korea than the same Vanino. It takes four hours by ferry to get to Japanese Hokkaido from Korsakov. From the point of view of the bridge crossing, not only Sakhalin, but also the districts of the Khabarovsk Territory would receive development - the need for seasonal northern delivery would be closed practically to Nikolaevsk-on-Amur. "
The Selikhin-Nysh railway line has the potential for the formation of freight traffic, believes Anatoly Vasiliev, professor at the Russian University of Transport, head of the Sakhalin railway in 1992-1995.
“We have to hear from economists that connecting the mainland with Sakhalin will cost the country very dearly with unclear cost recovery. Such voices have sounded before. I remember there were disputes at the Ministry of Railways. I told my opponents, well, let's say that the project is not economically justified, but when the Trans-Siberian Railway was being built, no volumes were visible at that time. If your approach has always been used, then the Trans-Siberian Railway would not exist now. But is it really possible to imagine Russia without the Transsib, ”says Anatoly Vasiliev.
According to Sergei Sharapov, on the project of connecting Sakhalin with the mainland, a principled position is required at the government, presidential level, as was the case with the Crimean bridge.
“I have been dealing with this issue for many years (the idea of creating an island-mainland transition - ed.) And I understand that a clear political decision is needed here. If it is, then the project will take place, ”concluded Sergei Sharapov.
At the same time, the issue of profitability of transportation on the Selikhin-Nysh route remains essential for the project. Most of the predicted cargo traffic is coal, which is low-profitable for the carrier (the first deputy general director of the monopoly, Vadim Mikhailov, said in a recent interview that its transportation at the Eastern Range today brings losses to Russian Railways). In addition, the demand for coal products in the Asian markets will depend on many factors.
As noted, in the prepared draft Strategy for the Development of the Sakhalin Region until 2035, among the risks is the restriction of imports of low-calorie coal to China and India due to an increase in fees for the use of such raw materials and the desire to limit greenhouse gas emissions, as well as the transition of the same China to widespread use. blue fuel for heating and electricity generation.
One should not forget about the social consequences faced by the port workers of Nakhodka and Vanino in the light of the growing export of coal. The population of the port cities protested the deteriorating environmental situation, and now stevedores have to invest additionally in environmental protection measures. In some cases, this led to restrictions on the transportation of fuel to stevedoring companies.
By the way, this issue has already been raised by Sakhalin. Recently, the Sakhalin Transport Prosecutor's Office obliged OOO Nevelsky Commercial Sea Port, which is increasing the transshipment of local coal, to undergo an environmental state examination for loading and unloading operations.