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Construction of an economic scale
As in the era of world economic cataclysms (read - the crisis) is not just to survive, but also to help a neighbor? In the Far East, they found their answer to this difficult question: in the government of the Amur region, they began the crucial phase of the project, which the Amur economy waited several decades: the construction of a bridge across the river. Cupid to China
The curator of the project - First Deputy Prime Minister of the region Marina Dedyushko told about the opportunities, difficulties, prospects that this project will give to one of the most economically dynamic regions.
- Marina Vladimirovna, to begin with, tell us: will this bridge become an automobile or automobile-pedestrian bridge?
- The question is very interesting, because we would very much like it to be, in addition to the road and pedestrian routes, also a railway one - the fact is that initially the intergovernmental agreements really provided for a combined bridge. However, the economy and technical capabilities slightly corrected the project: while there is an understanding about the first stage of the construction of the bridge and the construction along it will be designed for cars.
The second stage, which is possible when the freight traffic is increased on the road bridge, is just a railway bridge.
- That is, it turns out that the functions of a pedestrian bridge will be performed by a cable car (another equally large-scale project that will connect the shores of Russia and China right in the middle of Blagoveshchensk - author's note)?
- Yes, this is so - this is a project just for tourists: for contemplation, comfortable and safe travel. According to the plan, it will become an anchor and a center for the tourist and recreational zone of Blagoveshchensk, a symbol of friendship between the two great countries. There will be no such road anywhere in the world - therefore, our project is very ambitious.
- If we talk about the bridge, what are the real dates for the start of its construction?
- The work will begin this summer - that's for sure. But it is still difficult to say in more detail: the project is very large and complex, many factors are interconnected in it, including risk factors.
While the design is underway, during which we are faced with momentary problems that seem insignificant in appearance, but they postpone the completion of the documentation. For example, now we are solving the issue of transferring and changing the configuration of green zones that adjoin the federal highway "Amur" - according to the rules, it is impossible to build in the zone itself, therefore its borders must be changed.
This is just one example for you to understand. And the terms for submission to the state examination depend on the timing of the design, this affects the terms of consideration, which also vary. In general, one thing clings to another. But for such a project, a shift to the right or left by a month is not significant.
20 years to success
- We have been moving towards its implementation since 80-x the last century, they modeled it according to various schemes, developed international documents, made it even more convenient ... Now the final, sixth stage is underway. He is too big and hard-won to hurry up and break wood. I can say that we very much hope that the first construction work will begin in June-July.
In the meantime, we need to complete work on the concession agreement, the final version of which is almost ready, soon we will have the last technical negotiations. We expect to sign it in June.
In addition, a joint Russian-Chinese company has already appeared - the operator of the project; now we are working on the creation of its Annunciation branch. It should be registered in June, after which contractors will be selected by this branch.
In fact, it is this very branch that will perform not only the function of the customer, but also the subsequent owner of the bridge, charging a fare when the structure is put into operation.
- Will it not work out that if the project is joint and it will be built by companies of different countries of origin, elementary, concrete and reinforcement will not "connect" with each other?
- No, because the bridge over the main channel of the Amur is considered as a single object. Everything that is on Russian territory, automobile approaches to the bridge, are designed taking into account the latest building codes.
The linking of the Russian and Chinese parts will be carried out by the Russian designer - JSC Giprostroymost. In addition, this bridge will undergo a double examination: in the regulatory authorities of both Russia and China.
For each other
- And at whose expense will the construction be carried out? It was mentioned earlier that the government will not invest a single ruble in it.
- I would define the bridge crossing project as an interstate project of two regions: Heilongjiang Province and Amur Region. That is why we had so many difficulties in modeling, structuring and designing it. It will be immediately owned by two different entities foreign to each other along the state border.
The joint operator created by the governments of these regions appeared as joint stock companies with 100% state participation, and these companies have already created a joint company. Therefore, the project, although modeled according to the scheme of public-private partnership, is, in fact, a state one.
This joint venture will attract borrowed funds - in this case, loans. It is at their expense that the Russian part of the border bridge will be built. The Chinese part will be built at the expense of the Celestial Empire's investments - there, the Ministry of Transport of China and the Heilongjiang province itself provide subsidies.
The main goal of the project is not to make a profit as such. It is essentially non-profit.
The repayment of the loan taken for our part will be carried out by charging a toll across the entire bridge - I emphasize, this is only necessary in order to return the borrowed funds. The payback according to our forecasts, again, based on the expected freight and passenger traffic, is up to 15 years.
Billions for the neighborhood
- The volume of financing for the construction of the Russian section of the bridge - 14 billion rubles.
Both 20 years ago and now design organizations have confirmed that 2/3 of the crossings are located on the Russian part: this is the entrance to the Amur federal highway, the bridge over the channel and the highway through the Kani-Kurgan island, as well as a construction across the main channel of the Amur.
- If most of the bridge is located on Russian territory, it will therefore need to be serviced by our efforts. How many jobs will this create for the region?
- Both in the concession and in the intergovernmental agreement, and in all negotiations, it is recorded that our part will be built only by Russian contractors. The same is with the service. According to our estimates, our contractors involved in this project will provide the region with over 1400 additional jobs. At the same time, we, as the administration of the region, are, of course, disposed for the construction to be carried out by regional construction and road companies - of course, with the appropriate work experience, equipment and personnel.
- Speaking about the interests of the two countries - how will they be taken into account? After all, everyone can expect their own. And what advantages will Russia get from this?
- One of the reasons why the project was not implemented for about 20 years is precisely in the difficulty of finding a compromise - there were many points of view, including opposite ones, a huge number of negotiations. Time is changing, and along with the political and economic situation does not stand still. Globalization, international integration, the very rapid development of the Asia-Pacific countries - all this influenced the positive outcome of the problem of the emergence of our future bridge.
This also includes our political changes: Russia's turn to the East and, in principle, the formation of a new model for the development of the Far East as an export-oriented territory, the creation of TOPs. Of course, there are many such territories of advanced development in the world - over 1200 - and, of course, there is rather tough competition between them for attracting foreign capital. In this regard, the Amur Region has enormous advantages. The main one is the location: out of 4300 km of the border with the PRC, 1200 km is the Amuro-Chinese section. Before the construction of the bridge, it was potential, but now these opportunities have begun to open up thanks to such transport corridors.
It is important for us that we were able to enter this stage in China as partners. The problems of the development of the northeast of the PRC are the same as in our Far East: if, in a nutshell, these are undeveloped territories. Our proximity and low development will allow us to do mutually complementary enterprises.
In addition, the structure of Russia's foreign trade in general and the Amur region in particular has changed: we began to export more. 60% of the Amur trade turnover is export. There is a gradual departure from the raw material structure: more than 70% are products with high added value. This includes electricity, agricultural and food products.
Last year, there was a radical change in foreign trade turnover - we have multiple: for soybeans - 10 times, for food - 3 times - export volumes increased. For further development, the bridge will be a good help.
- And the transit?
- Of course, this also includes transit. The bridge across the Amur will be a huge stimulus not only for the development of our Amur economy, but also as a transport corridor for domestic producers.
- And when will this important structure be built?
- According to the plans, as I said, construction should begin in 2016, and it will end with the opening and launch of the bridge in 2019.