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Great transit resource
Director General of the Far Eastern Research, Design and Exploration and Design and Technology Institute of the Marine Fleet (JSC FEMRI) Evgeny Novosel'tsev - specifically for IA "EastRussia"
On the possibilities of the new Silk Road, the modernization of the Transsib, the prospects for the construction of a high-speed highway from Busan to Rotterdam, through Vladivostok, transport corridors "Primorye-1" and "Primorye-2" ...
General Director of the Far-Eastern Scientific Research, Design and Exploration and Design and Technology Institute of the Marine Fleet (JSC "FEMRI")
The unique geographical position of Russia - the length of the country along almost the entire northern part of the Eurasian continent - gives it inexhaustible opportunities in terms of transcontinental logistics. It is only necessary to develop and modernize the cargo handling capacities of the Far Eastern ports and the Trans-Siberian Railway (Transsib). Today the country's leadership is trying to do this to one degree or another, with the help of the same Law "On the Free Port of Vladivostok."
But another Eurasian country, China, has a huge transit potential, whose government is trying to implement the New Silk Road (NSR) project, which will carry a continuous flow - mainly through the constructed network of railways and roads - trade goods from the Asia-Pacific region (APR) to the countries of Europe and the Middle East.
How competitive or friendly are the aspirations of the two countries to increase their economic power at the expense of the transit resource?
So far, we are considering, by and large, two options for the direction of the NSP: both with and without entering the territory of Russia. The first option (northern) involves laying a corridor through China, Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, and the Baltic countries. The second (southern) - through China, Kazakhstan, Georgia and Turkey.
Moreover, it was formally put into operation five years ago, but, in fact, the TRACECA transport corridor is little used (through China, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Georgia and a number of other countries - only 13 - bypassing Russia ).
The inactive operation of TRACECA is mainly due to the following circumstances: too many countries with not very developed transport infrastructure are involved in the corridor, plus carriers incur a lot of time to go through bureaucratic procedures when crossing the border of each country.
In general, the very existence or the possibility of the appearance of certain transport corridors should not cause undue concern to Russia. The global freight traffic today - and especially this concerns container transportation (with the help of which the most demanded and popular consumer goods are transported) - is so great that it can more than ensure the full functioning of both existing and emerging transport corridors.
The most common way of delivering goods from the Asia-Pacific region to Europe and Africa today is by ocean, bypassing Russia. Hundreds of millions of containers are handled by the traditional sea route per year. For comparison, a little over 1 million containers are transported through our ports in the Far East and Transsib per year. And it is unlikely that the proportional ratio will change significantly in the next five to ten years in favor of the same Transsib, TRACECA or NSHP.
Foreigners frighten administrative barriers
Freight flows - like water - make their way along the path of least resistance. And here a vast field of work opens up for our state and business. First of all, it is necessary to reduce to the limit non-physical barriers in the transportation of goods, to make the necessary changes to legislative and by-laws.
It's funny and sad at the same time - about a year ago, the Far Eastern Customs, as a great achievement, told the world that from now on, the procedure for customs inspection of ships in our ports will take half the time - 7 days, instead of the previous 14! And this at a time when in all developed countries only a few minutes are given for such a procedure!
Today, it is especially important to simplify the inspection of transit cargo, that is, those that are not intended for Russia, but only temporarily cross its territory. In particular, not so long ago, shippers from South Korea abandoned the practice of using the seaside port of Zarubino for transshipment of their products to North China. The reason: the vigilant inspectors of our Rosselkhoznadzor delayed the shipment of containers under the pretext that it was necessary to provide the products in them containing certificates of compliance with Russian quality standards. And the controllers did not care at all that the products (not intended for the Russian consumer!) As a result of downtime could deteriorate, and the supplier would incur huge costs. After this, which foreigner would want to deal with Russian transit? What kind of competitiveness in the global transportation market can we talk about?
True, it should be admitted that they are solving this problem in all possible ways. For example, they develop projects and build new diesel locomotives and wagons capable of carrying a larger amount of cargo at a time, introduce additional railway stations and interchanges at stations (so that less-speed trains - loaded with coal, for example - do not interfere with others, more high-speed ones - container ones, for example) ...
The Trans-Siberian Railway (Transsib) is a powerful double-track electrified railway line with a length of about 10 thousand km, equipped with modern means of information and communication. The Transsib is the world's longest railway. In the east, (through the border stations of Khasan, Grodekovo, Zabaikalsk, Naushki) it provides access to the railway network of North Korea, China and Mongolia. And in the west - through Russian ports and border crossings with the former republics of the Soviet Union - access to European countries.
The highway passes through the territory of 20 constituent entities of the Russian Federation and 5 federal districts. These resource-rich regions have significant export and import potential. There are 87 cities on the Transsib, of which 14 are the centers of the subjects of the Russian Federation. There are three main advantages of transcontinental transportation on the Transsib (in comparison with the sea): reducing the transit time of goods by more than 2 times - 10 days from China to Finland instead of 28 by sea; low level of political risks, since up to 90% of the route passes through the territory of the Russian Federation - a state with a stable system of state power, a stable political climate and a confidently growing economy; reducing the number of cargo transshipments to a minimum, which reduces the costs of cargo owners and prevents the risk of accidental damage to cargo during transshipment. In accordance with the Strategy for the Development of Railway Transport in the Russian Federation until 2030, it is planned to specialize the Transsib for the passage of specialized container trains and for passenger traffic.
From Busan to Rotterdam ... via Vladivostok
By and large, the entire modernization of the Trans-Siberian Railway can be reduced to the creation of an additional, third track along it - to let high-speed passenger traffic along it, relieving the traditional tracks for freight trains.
But the implementation of such a project is associated with huge costs, for which Russia today does not have financial resources. An example is the project for the reconstruction of the railway on a section of only 112 km from Vladivostok to Ussuriisk. Organization of high-speed electric trains here (up to 120 km / h) will cost at least 100 - 130 billion rubles!
And yet - the concept of building a railway parallel to the Transsib already exists. It was developed in 2012 (for the APEC summit) under the auspices of the Korean-Russian Association, the Academic and Cultural Foundation of the Republic of Korea. The direct authors of the concept are employees of the South Korean company K Harmone and our Institute.
The project, among other things, involves the construction - neither more nor less - of the Eurasian high-speed railway "United Eurasia" with a length of 13 km from the South Korean city of Busan - through Vladivostok - to the Dutch city of Rotterdam, with a maximum speed of 000 km per hour along it ... At such a speed, the Moscow-Vladivostok section is overcome in a little more than a day! And the entire route takes less than 2-e Days!
It was assumed that the main target audience of this road will be foreigners, of whom more than 1000 million people live within a radius of 300 km from Vladivostok, and about 60 million people in the same radius from Moscow. Hence, the expected passenger traffic of the United Eurasia highway was estimated at 35 million people a year.
The total investment in the project (it also assumed the creation of a mega-policy and a mega-port on the basis of Vladivostok, the prerequisites for which, by the way, have already been theoretically created by the Law on the Free Port) at that time was estimated at 270 billion US dollars. It was proposed to find these funds through government investments from the Republic of Korea and Russia (40%), private Russian and South Korean investors (30%) and the global stock market (30%).
The summary of the project says that its implementation will cause a sharp increase in the global competitiveness of the Russian economy, significantly reduce social tensions throughout the country, increase population mobility and strengthen the territorial connectivity of the Russian state.
The benefits for South Korea are also obvious - rather constrained by its geographic location (an island, in fact), it gets a strategic outlet to the entire economic space of Eurasia.
But the most reassuring thing is that this ambitious project is by no means buried. It's just mothballed. And the Republic of Korea does not part with the idea of building a high-speed highway along our Trans-Siberian Railway. By the way, China is also not averse to joining. Various projects are currently being considered there, including the construction of a high-speed railway Harbin-Khabarovsk. A kind of test project.
"Primorye-1" and "Primorye-2" as a bridge to the NShP
Today in the region there is a lot of talk about the need to create transport corridors "Primorye-1" and "Primorye-2" connecting Russia with China. In principle, we can say that these international transport corridors will contribute to Russia's integration into the New Silk Road (in its northern version).
A more northern corridor "Primorye-1" will connect the Chinese province of Heilongjiang with the ports: Vladivostok, Nakhodka, Vostochny. And more southern - "Primorye-2" - Jilin province with the ports of Posiet and Zarubino.
In either case, on the one hand, access to the countries of the Asia-Pacific region is provided. On the other hand, access to Europe. Both the Trans-Siberian Railway and the transport and logistics facilities created by the Chinese in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region will be involved
In 2015, the volume of rail freight traffic between Russia and China in Primorye increased by 2014% compared to 22 and amounted to 10,1 million tons. The increase was mainly due to the growth of Russian exports: coal, timber and metal ore. In 2015, Russia exported 950 thousand tons more cargo through Primorye to China than in 2014. At the same time, imports from China fell almost twofold, amounting to only 152 thousand tons at the largest customs point in Primorye - Vladivostok.