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"Since the January meeting, we have not moved anywhere"
The bridge in Nizhneleninsky went out of the budget
The repeatedly adjusted dates for the commissioning of the Nizhneleninskoe - Tongjiang (PRC) border crossing point will obviously be postponed again. Despite the fact that the authorities of the Jewish Autonomous Region are counting on the completion of the bridge and coastal infrastructure in early 2021, the commissioning of a new checkpoint in 2022 seems more realistic. The readiness of the infrastructure of the future transition today is just over 70%, and in order to complete the construction, additional funding is needed, which is not yet available.
TIME IS MONEY
The situation around the construction of the Russian part of the bridge railway border crossing was discussed at a meeting on August 5, which was chaired by Acting Governor of the Jewish Autonomous Region Rostislav Goldstein. According to Murad Magomedov, who is the first deputy general director of the customer company Rubicon (controlled by the Russian-Chinese Investment Fund, which was entrusted with the implementation of the project), as of August 3, the construction readiness of the facility (this is the main bridge and other railway infrastructure required for transportation) is 72%. The bridge has the highest degree of readiness - 91%. The section of the railway line leading to the construction is 77% prepared. The Leninsk station, which is part of the Far Eastern Railway, is ready for about the same amount.
According to the technical specifications issued by Russian Railways, the customer of the construction must carry out reconstruction there. The Leninsk-2 station located not far from the bridge is to a lesser degree of readiness - 41%.
As you know, the contract for the construction of the Russian part of the main bridge and the railway lines of the approach was signed with SK Most JSC. Its cost is about nine billion rubles. However, additional funding is needed to complete the construction. With his involvement, difficulties arose, which affected the progress of work.
“The scheme and model of further financing of the object have not yet been adopted. Measures to justify attracting additional investments into the project by the contractor have not been completed. The design documentation has not been corrected with the repeated passing of the state examination, ”Murad Magomedov informed.
The first railway bridge between Russia and China will connect the village of Nizhneleninskoye in the Jewish Autonomous Region and the island of Hayu Dao in the Tongjiang city district of Jiamusi. The bridge will be the first of its kind between the countries on a four thousand km of common border. Its total length is 2 meters, including the Russian part - 209 meters. The crossing is designed as a railway single-track bridge with combined gauge of 309 1 and 520 1 mm for the passage of Russian and Chinese rolling stock.
The construction of the bridge began in February 2014. The transition was expected to appear at the end of 2018, but the dates have been repeatedly shifted, most recently to the third quarter of 2021. China completed construction of its section of the cross-border railway bridge in October 2018.
Backlog has also arisen for the facilities being built by the Federal State Institution "Rosgranstroy" at the expense of the federal budget. The general contractor is the same SK Most. The creation of the infrastructure required for customs and border inspection is envisaged in two stages. At the initial stage, it is planned to erect an administrative building to accommodate employees of control bodies, an overpass for customs and border control. The checkpoint must be equipped with wagon scales, a radioactive material detection system, and other technical facilities.
In the future, it should be equipped with a modern inspection and inspection complex IDK, which allows remote control of vehicles (wagons, containers) and cargo without opening and without stopping the train when moving at speeds up to 70 km / h. In addition, at the second stage, it is planned to create an in-depth cargo inspection zone.
As the deputy director of the Khabarovsk branch of FGKU Rosgranstroy Yuri Gorislavets said, now the efforts of the general contractor have made adjustments to the design and working documentation in connection with errors in the project for seismic solutions. Positive conclusions of the FAU "Glavgosexpertiza of Russia" were received on the technical and budgetary part of the project. The total cost of the work increased by more than 232 million rubles. The contractor is not working due to the lack of additional funding sources.
However, Acting Governor of the Jewish Autonomous Region Rostislav Goldstein doubted that the reason for the adjustments was solely the requirements for seismicity.
“As far as I know, Yuri Trutnev, the president’s plenipotentiary representative in the Far Eastern Federal District, and the subject have several times expressed claims on the project in the part that the entire range of goods that should go through this bridge were not taken into account. And that was the primary reason for the redesign. I hear about the first stage, about the second stage. You know that what is not done right away is never done. Since the January meeting with Yuri Petrovich, we have not moved anywhere, ”Goldstein complained.
WALKING IN A CIRCLE
According to Rostislav Goldstein, China and the Russian leadership are interested in completing the construction of the bridge.
“We have been walking in the same circle for four years. The position of the Jewish Autonomous Region: there can be no second stage. It is desirable to complete all work on time - this is the first quarter of 2021, ”the head of the region said.
To do this, he instructed to create a working group so that all planned work would be implemented within the approved time frame. From the leadership of the subject it will be headed by and. about. First Deputy Chairman of the Government of the JAO Dmitry Bratynenko. Those involved need to develop a roadmap for the earliest possible opening of railway communication with the PRC, the list of measures will be sent for agreement with federal agencies.
However, the customer sets the completion date for the third quarter of next year. Although, Murad Magomedov admitted, the introduction of the border crossing by this time is already being questioned. Vitaly Zelenko, Deputy Head of the Far Eastern Railway for Interaction with Authorities, in turn, says that the completion of the infrastructure of the future checkpoint is scheduled for December 2021, and the commissioning of all facilities for permanent operation in March 2022.
It is noteworthy that the working group will include representatives of the Far Eastern Railway. According to the Acting Governor of the Jewish Autonomous Region, earlier the head of Russian Railways Oleg Belozerov ordered the monopoly to join the completion of this facility. True, he did not elaborate on the details of the state company's participation in this project.
According to an informed source, the question of RZD taking under its auspices the project of the Nizhneleninskoe-Tongjiang bridge and approaches to it arises periodically. This would be appropriate from the point of view of providing a unified technology for organizing foreign trade transportation in the PRC. But the difficulty lies in the fact that most of the border crossing has already been built on the private money of investment funds, and the decision on a new owner must take into account all the nuances.
At the same time, a mechanism for returning funds to investors is being worked out. Most likely, the shippers will be provided with a unified railway tariff, from which part of the funds will go to the client company as the owner of the infrastructure. Approximately such a scheme is in effect when sending goods to the station of the Yakutia Railways, when in 2018 a single tariff was introduced using the infrastructures of JSC Russian Railways and JSC AK ZhDYa for the total distance of delivery, according to the current price list 10-01.
The leadership of the Far Eastern Railway changed its attitude towards the emergence of a new Russian-Chinese checkpoint. For a long time it was believed that the commissioning of the Nizhneleninskoye RWBCP would lead to a redistribution of existing traffic to China and this would hit the freight turnover of the Grodekovo-Suifenhe border crossing, which had been in operation since the 1950s. Actually, representatives of the Kimkano-Sutarsky GOK, whose products should at first provide the main load on the Birobidzhan - Nizhneleninskoye - Tongjiang route, have repeatedly talked about the preference of the new checkpoint in comparison with Grodekovo, to which there is a greater distance.
However, the difficulties arising in the operation of the existing border crossing made us look at the cross-border bridge differently. So, at the end of last year, China imposed restrictions on the admission of Russian coal through Grodekovo. The General Customs Administration of the PRC, on the basis of temporary control rules, has strengthened the examination of incoming fuel. Chinese representatives officially explained this by a decrease in the quality of imported products, revealed during last year's deliveries. According to another version, the Chinese authorities, in order to protect their producers and develop coal deposits owned by Chinese corporations in Mongolia, are quoting supplies of a similar range of cargo from the territory of other states.
If in January-May 2019, an average of 4,2 trains with coal products were transmitted through Grodekovo to the Harbin railway, then in five months of this year - 2,6 (since the beginning of the year, the total average daily transfer at the border crossing is 11 trains / 409 wagons). The situation led to the growth of "abandoned" trains on the Far Eastern Railway and the failure of Russian Railways to accept numerous customer requests for transportation. The situation was especially difficult at the beginning of 2020. In January-February, for 43 days, conventional restrictions on loading to Grodekovo were in effect (in total, they were introduced 13 times in the first half of the year). On an average daily basis, 30 trains going to this station were removed from the traffic on the Far Eastern Railway, and on some days their number exceeded 60.
The problem with the transfer of coal has complicated the movement of timber cargo (for many years the Grodekovo railway crossing point has been actively working with timber), a large number of wagons with timber and sawn timber are idle awaiting their acceptance for transportation. Among the main factors that have a negative impact on the work of the checkpoint, the Dalexportles Association notes, the inconsistency of the work technology of Russian railway workers with the capabilities of the Chinese infrastructure. China is ready to accept trains with a length of 68 conventional wagons, but due to the limited track length of the stations of the Grodekovsky junction, Russian Railways cannot transmit such trains (the average composition of the transmitted route is 36,1 wagons), and this reduces the processing capacity of Suifenhe station by 30%, the head notes associations Alexander Sidorenko.
To normalize operational work at the border crossing, Dalexportles proposes to exclude the transfer of partial trains to the PRC, as well as to revise the technology of interaction between Russian Railways and customs in Grodekovo, providing for the creation of a customs control zone throughout the station, which will solve the problem of uncoupling wagons at the request of the FCS from ready-made to the departure of trains.
The FERZ management believes that with the advent of the railway checkpoint, the Nizhneleninskoye railway would have room for maneuver - part of the car traffic could be redirected to the bridge crossing, thereby reducing operational losses from abandoned trains, opening up capacity reserves for developing additional traffic volumes. As for Grodekovo, the reconstruction of border crossings Sosnovaya Pad and Rassypnaya Pad with lengthening of receiving and departure routes and changing the entire technology of the Grodekovsky junction will help to increase the throughput of this crossing. Relevant proposals for the investment program have been prepared.