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Transbaikalia will increase the railway
Investments in the infrastructure of the region are growing. New opportunities of the Transbaikal Territory are growing with them.
This year, 38,5 billion rubles are planned to be allocated to the development of the Trans-Baikal Railway. This is more than 12% higher than last year’s investment. The increase in inflows is associated both with the need to ensure the growing transit of goods, expanding the bottlenecks of infrastructure, and with the need of local enterprises to export their products, including to the Asia-Pacific markets.
TRANSITS ARE EASIER TO PASS
Today, the Trans-Baikal Railway (ZabZhD) mainly provides for the passage of transit cargo traffic to the seaports of the Far East. In the 2018 year, it transferred an average of 70 freight trains per day or almost 4,5 thousand cars to the Far Eastern Railway, which exceeded the result of the previous year by 3,5%. At the same time, the road worked under the conditions of growing shortage of carrying capacity, and the load capacity parameter, which characterizes the intensity of line utilization, more than doubled the average figure on the Russian Railways network, noted in the road management.
Transportation continues to grow this year: in the first half of the year, freight turnover of ZZHD amounted to 185,7 billion ton-km of tariffs, which is 4,7% more than last year. Loading is provided first of all by the Kuzbass coal. Kuzbass currently produces 60% of this type of fuel in the Russian Federation (2018 million tons were mined there in 255,3), and the share of coal products sent from this region for export reaches 75%.
With the current fall in energy prices in Europe, the Far Eastern direction among Russian coal miners is becoming more and more popular. At recent negotiations between the head of Russian Railways, Oleg Belozerov, and Kuzbass Governor Sergei Tsivilev, an agreement was reached that railroad workers will increase coal transportation in the direction of ports and border crossings of the Far East. So, over the 18 days of July, loading of Kuzbass coal eastward increased by 5,2% to last year’s level.
To pass the growing wagon flow on the Trans-Baikal road, the technology of driving connected trains is used. In addition, capital investments in infrastructure within the framework of the development program of BAM and Transsib (Eastern Polygon) give the result. This year, 38,5 billion rubles is planned to be invested in ZabZhD, while the total for the first stage of this project from 2013 to 2020 is 108,6 billion rubles. If we talk directly about the Trans-Baikal Territory (part of the highway passes through the territory of the Amur Region), then the main efforts are now focused on upgrading the stations Mogocha, Pen'kovaya, Ukurey, Khilok, Chita-1, Chita-2, Chernyshevsk, as well as complex reconstruction lines Karymskaya - Zabaikalsk. There is also a development of the power supply system, on which the intensity of train traffic depends. Just a couple of years ago, there were 12 limiting zones on the Zabaikalsk road for skipping overweight trains. Due to the strengthening of the traction substations, the technical re-equipment of the contact network sections, to which about 2018 billion rubles were sent in 1, some of them were eliminated. Work on the removal of infrastructure restrictions continues - the amount of investment in the electrification and power supply of the road in 2019 will be tripled.
To meet transportation needs, the locomotive fleet is updated. Eight years ago, modern electric locomotives 2ES5К and 3ES5К Ermak began to arrive at the Transbaikal Mainline for the main freight movement. Since that time, 564 has been added to the locomotives of this series. New electric locomotives have the ability to realize the maximum thrust force under the terms of adhesion, which allows railroad workers to drive heavier trains. Retrofitting has affected the fleet of shunting diesel locomotives. In 2011-2018, the road received 99 locomotives TEM-18DM. The delivery of another 30 locomotive of this type, which are used at stations for the supply of freight cars to the places of loading or unloading, is scheduled for this year.
MINES AND CUTS
Although the lion’s share of cargo turnover in the Trans-Baikal Railway is transit, local enterprises on the Trans-Baikal Railway have recently noticeably intensified shipment. In January-June, 8,5 million tons of various cargoes were loaded on ZabZhD, by 13% more than a year earlier. The increase in shipments is observed in coal, iron and colored ore, as well as containers.
Positive dynamics is developing to a large extent due to the business of mining enterprises in the south-east of Transbaikalia. Increases the production of JSC "Novo-Shirokinsky mine" (managed by "Rusdragmet"), the commodity products of which are lead and zinc concentrates. In 2018, ore production at the enterprise amounted to about 860 thousand tons (in the first half of 2019-th - 411 thousand tons), currently a project is being implemented there with an increase in annual productivity to 1,3 million tons.
Last year, shipment of ore from the Bystrinsky mining and processing plant, which Norilsk Nickel built, began at the railway transport. For the first half of this year 526,4 thousand tons of iron ore concentrate and about 90 thousand tons of copper were sent to consumers. Following the results of 2019, it is expected to bring shipments of products, respectively, to 1,2 million and 200 thousand tons.
“We mainly supply concentrate to China. Transportation is carried out through the Karymskaya - Borzya - Zabaikalsk section, which is an offshoot of the Trans-Siberian Railway. The options for shipping products to the domestic market are also being worked out, said Alexander Baev, director of the Bystrinsky Transport Branch of Norilsk Nickel, told East Russia. “With annual processing at 10 million tons of ore (the output of the mining and processing plant at full capacity is scheduled for 2021 year - Ed.) We plan to receive 3 million tons of iron ore and 260 thousand tons of copper concentrate.”
The enterprises of the coal industry are working steadily, and the loading of the Trans-Baikal Railway depends significantly on their activities, since coal accounts for about 60% of senders' demands for the carriage of goods at BZB stations. Among the developing assets are the East and Kharanorsky openings that are mastered by SUEK, which provide for the needs of energy facilities not only in Transbaikalia, but also in other regions of the Far Eastern Federal District. In July, Razrez Kharanorsky JSC put into operation an additional fleet of mining dump trucks, which will increase the productivity of coal shipment.
50-year history of relations with the railway at PJSC "Priargunskoye Industrial Mining and Chemical Association named after E.P. Slavsky ”(PIMCU) - the largest diversified mining company in Transbaikalia. Although different types of transport are involved in the logistics of the holding, PIMCU has its own non-public railway tracks with a length of more than 70 km and a locomotive fleet. The association includes the Urtuiskiy brown coal mine, which has increased production by a third since the beginning of the year. “The change in indicators is due to both increased demand and the fact that after heavy rains in May-June 2018, it was necessary to repair and restore the roads of the section,” comments Oleg Scheblykin, PR and Media Relations Director of the Priargunsky Association.
In total, PIMCU expects to ship more than 2019 million tons of cargo to 2,4 in the 2018 year, while about 1,6 million tons were loaded in 100. The supply of XNUMX% supplies the Krasnokamenskaya CHP and Kharanorskaya TPP with products, as well as expanding coal supplies to China through an international point passes Zabaykalsk.
CHINA BECOMES NEAR
For the regional economy, the Zabaikalsk-Manchuria border crossing remains an important export channel. In the first half, foreign trade shipments between Russia and China reached 8,9 million tons here, which is 8,2% more than in the same period 2018 of the year. Moreover, in June there was still a big dynamic: 1,6 million tons of cargo was transported through the checkpoint or by 21,1% higher than last year. The main volume in export deliveries is occupied by timber cargo, coal, ore. Relatively small cargo flows go from China (in six months, imports amounted to 173 thousand tons) - containers, ferrous metals, and building materials are mainly transported to Russia.
Today Zabaikalsk - Manchuria is the largest railway crossing in the Far Eastern Federal District. Leadership was promoted by the reconstruction of the approaches to the border station - the section Karymskaya - Zabaikalsk with a length of 2005 km, which was launched in 366. On this line, the track was modernized, a new automatic blocking system was introduced, and electrification began. Now the final stage of reconstruction is underway, the Borzya - Zabaikalsk section is being electrified. With the completion of the work, the infrastructure's capabilities will noticeably increase: the speed of movement and the weight norms of freight trains will increase.
“If on volumes of up to one train per day (equivalent to 1,5 million tons per year) diesel traction is sufficient for transportation, then when reaching the design capacity of 3 million tons or more, the lack of electrification can become a deterrent for the transportation of products”, - says the director of the Bystrinsky transport branch of Norilsk Nickel Alexander Baev.
Oleg Shcheblykin agrees with him: “We believe that the electrification of the Borzya-Zabaykalsk section will significantly improve the road’s carrying capacity and will ensure the guaranteed export of PPGHO products.” According to him, in connection with the development of the Karymskaya-Zabaikalsk line, it would be desirable that the Kharanor-Krasnokamensk section adjacent to its main run was also electrified. This would allow the Trans-Baikal road to level the problem of the lack of locomotives in this direction.
It is worth mentioning that the completion of the electrification of the Karymskaya - Zabaikalsk line opens up an opportunity for the implementation of a project to organize the passenger traffic of the high-speed electric train Chita - Zabaikalsk - Manchuria. “Every year, about 1,5 million Russian and Chinese citizens cross the border through the Zabaikalsk checkpoint, while the share of rail traffic is only 2%. A comparative cost and time assessment of the existing and proposed route options Chita - Zabaikalsk - Manchuria shows that the delivery of passengers by electric train will fully compete with both road and air transportation, ”said Alexander Skachkov, head of the Transbaikal Railway.
UDOKAN CALLS FOR BAM
Speaking about the transport potential of the Trans-Baikal Territory, we should not forget about the 300-kilometer section of the Baikal-Amur Mainline, which passes through the region and is part of the East-Siberian Railway (ESR). Currently, the Apsat open-pit mine is forming the main cargo base there - one of the largest coking coal deposits in Russia. Located about 40 km from Novaya Chara station, it was commissioned by the Siberian Coal Energy Company in 2011 year. A feature of the field is that the mining is carried out by the open method in the mountains. Coking coal with an average content of volatile substances is sent by rail to the Russian metallurgical market and for export to the APR countries.
High expectations are associated with the development of the Udokan copper deposit, also located in the area of Novaya Chara. The operator of its development is Baikal Mining Company LLC (BGK; a member of the USM diversified group of companies, Alisher Usmanov). The total project budget is estimated at about $ 2,9 billion. Recently BGK has signed a syndicated loan agreement for the development of Udokan reserves with Gazprombank, VEB.RF and Sberbank.
Now construction work has been launched on the production site. The start of delivery and installation of the main equipment is scheduled for the middle of 2020, the launch of the Udokan mining and metallurgical complex in commercial operation - by 2022 year. Railway transport will play a key role throughout the entire operation of the plant. At the first stage, the delivery of copper cathode and sulphide concentrate will be about 220 thousand tons, the second turnover will increase to 520 thousand tons. Sales of products are focused primarily on Asian markets, however, they see potential demand inside the country.
At the Novaya Chara station, the investor plans to build his own rail base. It will receive materials necessary for production, as well as export finished products. “The workload of Novaya Chara station at peak times is practically maximum, which is why a railroad complex is being designed, which will include, among other things, additional track development. This will allow BGK LLC to receive cargo, providing a minimum additional load on the existing infrastructure, ”Valery Kazikayev, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Baikal Mining Company, told EastRussia. - Today the railway provides the required level of traffic, but at the stage of operation of MMC Udokan it will multiply. Therefore, we are now awaiting receipt of technical specifications for the adjoining BAM. There is a lot of work to be done to agree on design solutions for the railroad base with colleagues from Russian Railways. We are confident that together we will be able to complete this task on time ”.
Like the Trans-Baikal, the East-Siberian railway operates in the conditions of a dynamically growing freight turnover, therefore a serious investment program is also being implemented on the main line. “With intensive train traffic, we find a balance between providing infrastructure for their passage and carrying out repairs and upgrades. The main investment projects today relate to the increase in carrying capacity, ”says the head of the All-Russian Eastern Railway Vasily Frolov.
In particular, according to the development program of the Eastern landfill, the modernization of the upper structure of the railway from Kuanda station to Novaya Chara and Khani continues, second routes are being built on the Balbuchta - Syulban, Taku - Balbuchta, Sakukan - Sallikit sections and double-track inserts in the Kodar-Leprendo, Novaya Chara - Kemen, Sakukan - New Chara, Syulban - Naledny. Development will receive and the station New Chara.
“The development of the Udokan field is a big step forward, and not only from an economic point of view. Hundreds of jobs will be created, serious development of social infrastructure is planned, including those related to the transport accessibility of remote territories of the region, "said the Governor of Transbaikalia, Alexander Osipov.