Billions to roads and rail in northern Sweden
This road through the village of Vittangi needs serious upgrades before iron-ore trucks can start moving. The government will invests SEK 3,5 billion in mining related infrastructure in Norrbotten.
The Swedish Government announced the state budget proposal for 2013 on Wednesday with large scale investments into the railway line serving the mining industry in the north.
“In order to keep the growth in the mining industry, especially in the north, the Government presents today investments for upgrading the Malmbanen railway and the road between Pajala and Svappavaara. In total, investments into mining-related infrastructure will be around SEK 3,5 billion (€414 million),” the government says in a press-release.
Malmbanan is the railway between Luleå via Kiruna towards the border to Norway at Riksgrensen. Iron ore is today transported from the large mines in Svappavaara and Kiruna to the Norwegian deep-sea port in Narvik for shipping to the international markets.
The mining company LKAB will increase its production and the new mining company Northland is in the start-up phase for new iron-ore mines in the Swedish, Finnish borderland between Pajala and Kolari. With increased mining, the needs for upgrade of transport routes are urgent.
The investments on the railway are mainly associated with building extended sidings so that longer iron-ore trains can cross without causing delays. With that, the iron ore capacity on each train increases.
From the new mines in Pajala, the iron ore will be transported by huge trucks towards the railway loading point in Svappavaara. The 139 kilometer long road needs serious upgrades before the large trucks can start moving. According to the budget announcement, the government will invest SEK 1,3 billion (€154 million) in upgrading the road over the next three years.