The Chinese company, a large-scale state-owned enterprise specializing in infrastructure investments, has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Republic of Komi with the ultimate goal of developing the Belkomur, the railway line connecting the northern Russian cities of Perm and Arkhangelsk.
The memorandum was signed in Shanghai in a meeting with Komi Deputy Governor Aleksandr Burov, the Komi regional government informs in a press release. The two sides will now establish a working group, which is to “start developing a mechanism for the joint implementation of the project with assistance from the Chinese and Russian governments”.
The new agreement could mark a turning point in the long-dragged Belkomur story. A project development company with branch units in the three involved Russian regions was established in 1996. However, the project company soon collapsed following a lack of funding and political interest from federal authorities. In 2007, regional authorities resumed their lobbying of the project.
If built, the railway line will establish a new far shorter link between Siberia and the Ural region with the Russian northern port of Arkhangelsk. The line will be 1252 km long of which about 712 km remains to be built. The price tag for the whole project is estimated to almost 600 billion RUB (€15 billion), of which more than 80 percent is to come from private sources.
The China Civil Engineering Construction Company is a major international investor in rail infrastructure. By the end of 2011, the number of CCECC’s projects under execution amounted to 128 with total contract value of more than $8.3 billion, the company website informs. A lion’s share of the company’s investments is made in railway infrastructure in African countries.
MURMANSK: Ecological groups gathered on Kola Peninsula fear that Barents nature will be the looser after Oslo decided to call off the environmental minister’s Moscow meeting in response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea.
TROMSØ: Since the first five specimens of snow crab were found in the Barents Sea in 1996, the population has exploded. There is now ten times as much snow crab than king crab in the area, and scientists are just starting to find out how this new species has adopted to life in the Barents Sea.
The current situation in Ukraine makes cross-border cooperation with the neighboring countries even more important, Barents Secretariat leader Rune Rafaelsen says. At the same time, Norway has joined NATO’s condemnation of Russia’s military escalation on the Crimea peninsula.
Board member Amund Trellevik in the press network fears entry-denial of Kremlin’s controversial propaganda-journalist Dmitry Kiselyov could be retaliated by refusing Norwegian journalists access to Russia.