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China to Build a Railway to Tibet

China has begun construction of a high-speed railway line that will connect the city of Lhasa in the Tibet Autonomous Region with the provincial capital of Sichuan, Chengdu City. The construction cost of the 1,800 km line is estimated at $ 49.4 billion (319 billion RMB), Nikkei Asia reported.

The road will be commissioned in 2030. The price of the railway project exceeds the price of the “Three Gorges Dam” (the gravity dam hydroelectric power station, located on the Yangtze River in Hubei province (China), is the largest power plant in the world in terms of design capacity of 22.5 GW), which cost 250 billion RMB, making the railway line to Tibet the largest construction project in China.

The aim of the project is to stimulate tourism and business travel to Tibet. Local media reports that Beijing is also looking to seize the region’s resources such as copper and lithium.

Currently, the journey by train from Chengdu to Lhasa takes about 40 hours. The transportation over the new direct railway line will be carried out at speed of 120 to 200 km / h, which is expected to reduce travel time to just over 10 hours.

“The railway project is of great importance for maintaining national unity, promoting ethnic unity and strengthening stability in the border areas,” Xi Jinping said.

This railway project is mentioned in China’s five-year plan to 2025 and its long-term goals until 2035. But the construction could face opposition from India, which is in a border confrontation with China. Water from Yarlung Tsangpo River flows to India, and construction works along the river can affect water level and quality downstream.



The very fact that China is ready to invest US$ 50 billion to construction of a railway in remote and desolated region is amazing. Obviously, this project will never become commercially profitable. Rather, Beijing demonstrates the eagerness to pursue its strategic interests at any cost, and maintaining full control over rebellious Tibet is probably a worthy goal.

LNG Transshipment Terminal to Be Built in Kamchatka

March 16, 2021

The experts of “Glavgosexpertiza” of Russia studied the re-submitted design and estimate documentation for the construction of a marine liquefied natural gas transshipment complex in the Kamchatka Territory. Based on the results of consideration, positive conclusions were issued this time.

In 2017, the government of the Kamchatka Territory and PJSC “Novatek” signed a cooperation agreement, within the framework of which the construction of  LNG transshipment complex began in the Bechevinskaya Bay on the southeastern coast of the Kamchatka Peninsula, says the “Glavgosexpertiza” report.

It will ensure the transshipment of liquefied natural gas delivered from the northern fields near the Gulf of Ob River by ice-class LNG carriers to LNG carriers without ice reinforcement for further transportation to consumers in the Asia-Pacific region. Upon completion of the full construction cycle, divided into five stages, the terminal’s cargo turnover will reach about 21.7 million tons, and the port infrastructure will be able to process 657 ship calls per year. The design documentation approved by the “Glavgosexpertiza”, subject to the adjustments, envisages the construction, at the expense of NOVATEK’s investments, of roadsteads for two floating gas storage facilities (FGSF), as well as anchorage for FGSF facilities and LNG carriers with anchoring and mooring support.

In addition, at the expense of the federal budget it was envisaged to create an approach channel, a berth for the operation of a navigation safety system, antenna mast structures, container blocks for placing equipment and laser leading beacons. Thus, the commissioning of the first stage facilities involves the allocation of two separate sub-stages. First of all, at stage 1.1 an approach channel with a length of 6.6 km will be introduced, as well as floating signs to fence the channel and the terminal water area. At stage 1.2 it is planned to introduce a berth for servicing shore facilities and navigation safety systems, including aids to navigation and a vessel traffic control system. At the same time, facilities will be commissioned to ensure the transport safety of the water area and the protection of coastal facilities of federal property. In addition, changes were made to the dredging technology and the composition of the mechanisms used.

Source: Korabel.RU

Blagoveshchensk – Heihe Pontoon Bridge Crossing Opens for Chinese Imports Only

March 15, 2021

Since March 15, car traffic will open on the pontoon bridge across the Amur River between Blagoveshchensk and Heihe. Due to the restrictions imposed by the Chinese authorities and caused by epidemiological situation, Russian exports will temporarily not be carried out.

In the import direction, cargo from China to Russia will be limited to engineering equipment, steel structures and other types of similar products intended for the construction of the Amur Gas Processing Plant. The issues of organizing the import of fruits, vegetables and other goods from China will be discussed later.

Source: Pavel Belov, RZhD Partner


Cross-border trade between China and Russian Far Eastern territories looks more and more like a one-way street. Its turnover volumes have never been large enough. Today, with heavy decline in cargo turnover via the “Primorye-I” and “Primorye-II” international transport corridors, termination of Russian fish exports to Chinese seaports and other ‘anti-COVID’ protective measures unilaterally taken by PRC the future prospects of bilateral cross-border trade look pessimistic, at least for Russian side. This trade is important for the well-being of Russians living in the Far-Eastern territories, especially the supply of vegetables, fruits and consumer goods. If the confidence in the stability of the Chinese deliveries is lost Russian importers would have to shift to ASEAN and other reliable suppliers.

Sections of the Future Coal Terminal Included in the Boundaries of Dikson Seaport

February 24, 2021

By order of the Government of Russia dated January 22, 2021 No. 109-r, the boundaries of the Dikson seaport have been adjusted. This was reported by the press service of FSUE “Rosmorport”.

The adjustments are related to the inclusion in its boundaries of one water plot and one land plot located in the Yenisei Bayand intended for positioning the offshore coal terminal facilities. It is a part of the development of the Syradasai coal deposit in the Taimyr Dolgano-Nenetsky district of the Krasnoyarsk Territory.

The explored reserves of the Syradasay deposit amount to almost 5.7 billion tons of coal of grades G (gas), Zh (fatty), K (coke) and OS (lean-caking). The deposit has one of the largest reserves of valuable coking coal.

The coal mined at the field will be transported by industrial railway to a new coal terminal in Dikson seaport, from where it will be exported to the countries of Southeast Asia along the Northern Sea Route.

At the first stage of development of the coal terminal project the planned volume of cargo transshipment will be 5 million tons per year, and within the next 3-4 years it should double. The length of the quay wall of the coal terminal will be 500 meters, and the depth at the cordon of the quay wall – up to 15.5 meters which will allow to proceed vessels of large gross tonnage.


Chukotka Has Increased Coal Production by 27% in 2021

February 24, 2021

94 thousand tons of lignite and hard coal were produced in January in the territory of the Chukotka Autonomous Okrug. In comparison with the same period in 2020, coal shipments increased by 27%.

According to the information of the regional department of industry, the significant growth was provided by the OJSC “Ugolnaya mine” (Anadyr). In the first month of the year, the company extracted 36.7 thousand tons at the Anadyr brown coal deposit, while last year in January it had shipped only 1 thousand tons. The increase in the result is due to the conclusion of an agreement for the supply of coal with the Egvekinot power plant and the communal services of Anadyr region.

At the same time, the second coal company in the region – “Beringpromugol” LLC (part of “Tiger Realm Coal Ltd”) reduced production in January by 20%, to 57.3 thousand tons. The company is extracting the coking coal at the Fandyushkinskoye field.

In 2021 the coal mine “Ugolnaya” plans to produce at least 100 thousand tons of coal while “Beringpromugol”’s plan for 2021 stands for 760 thousand tons.


Cargo Turnover at Russian Seaports Decreased by 7.8%

February 10, 2021

The turnover of the seaports of Russia in January 2021 amounted to 63.35 million tons, which is 7.8% less than the same period last year, the press service of “Rosmorrechflot” reports.

The volume of transshipment of dry cargo amounted to 30.05 million tons (+ 4.7%), liquid cargo – 33.3 million tons (-16.7%).

It is noted that a significant decrease in transshipment indicators, primarily for liquid cargo, is associated, among other things, with a long streak of storms in the Black Sea, which suspended the traffic flow and the operation of port facilities. In particular, the idle period for Novorossiysk seaport was almost three weeks. As a result, the volume of transshipment in the port compared to January 2020 fell by 22.9% – to 9.968 million tons.

The cargo turnover of the seaports of the Azov-Black Sea basin in January decreased by 15.9% – to 17.33 million tons. At the same time, the volume of dry cargo transshipment increased by 7.7%, amounting to 8.0 million tons, liquid cargo decreased by 29.3% – to 9.33 million tons.

The cargo turnover of the seaports of the Arctic basin decreased by 12.2% – to 7.59 million tons, of which the volume of dry cargo transshipment amounted to 1.99 million tons (-17.8%), liquid cargo – 5.6 million tons (-10,1 %).

The cargo turnover of the seaports of the Baltic basin decreased by 5.1% – to 21.05 million tons. Of these, the volume of dry cargo transshipment amounted to 9.44 million tons (+ 8.4%), liquid cargo – 11.61 million tons (-13.8%).

The cargo turnover of the seaports of the Caspian basin decreased by 10.7% – to 0.65 million tons. Of these, the volume of dry cargo transshipment amounted to 0.24 million tons (-21.5%), liquid cargo – 0.41 million tons (-3.0%). The largest seaport of the basin, Makhachkala, did not work for a week due to weather conditions in January.

The cargo turnover of the ports of the Far Eastern basin increased by 1.3% and reached 16.73 million tons. Of these, the volume of dry cargo transshipment amounted to 10.38 million tons (+ 5.5%), liquid cargo – 6.35 million tons (-4.9%).

Source: “PortNews”,

The flag Was Raised on the First Russian-Built Processor Trawler “Barents Sea”

February 5, 2021

On February 4, the ceremony of raising the state flag of the Russian Federation took place on the trawler ‘Barents Sea’ (project KMT01). The first domestically built large-capacity trawler-processor was completed at the Vyborg shipyard in the Leningrad region.

Trawler-processor “Barents Sea” was handed over to the Customer by shipbuilders of Vyborg in September 2020. The vessel was built within the framework of the state program of “investment quotas”, which provides for the allocation of additional quotas for catching biological resources to companies building vessels at the shipyards of the Russian Federation.

The vessel is equipped with a factory for full cycle processing and freezing and the latest trawl complex. The trawler uses a number of the latest solutions that increase the efficiency of the vessel in the fishery, for example, an integrated system of variable frequency of the internal power grid, which ensures fuel savings during crossings, as well as equipment that allows using a computer to sort frozen products by type and form pallets that will be transported from the hold to the upper deck of the trawler through the elevator shaft, from where they will be unloaded ashore, double reducing the time for unloading products from the ship.


Volume of Cargo Transportation Along the Northern Sea Route Increased by 8.3% in January

February 2, 2021, “ Rosmorrechflot”

According to the data provided by the NSR Administration, 2.598 million tons of cargo were transported along the NSR in January 2021, an increase over the same period in 2020 amounted to 8.3%.

At the moment, the water area of ​​the Northern Sea Route is covered with consolidated one-year ice. There are hummocks up to 3-4 points, fields of frost on the recommended routes in the Gulf of Ob and on the approaches to it, the captains of the ships note periodic ice compression.

At Cape Zhelaniya and on the approaches to the Boris Vilkitsky Strait, an iceberg threat remains.

Icebreaking operations in the water area of ​​the NSR were carried out by conventional icebreakers ‘Admiral Makarov’ and ‘Krasin’ (FSUE Rosmorport), the nuclear-powered icebreakers ‘Yamal’, ‘Vaygach’, ‘Taimyr’ and ‘50 Let Pobedy’ (the last one entered the water area of ​​the NSR on January 23rd).

Icebreaking support in the port of Sabetta was carried out by the icebreakers ‘Ob’, ‘Tor’, ‘St. Petersburg’ (FSUE Rosmorport), in the port of Dudinka – by the icebreakers ‘Dudinka’ and ‘Avraamy Zavenyagin’.

The icebreakers ‘Alexander Sannikov’ and ‘Andrey Vilkitsky’ ensured the safety of navigation at the “Arctic” oil export terminal of the “Gates of the Arctic” Novoportovskoye field.

In January 2021, the NSR Administration issued 5 permits for vessels flying a foreign flag to sail in the water area of ​​the NSR (in 2020, 9 permits were issued for the same period, including 6 for vessels flying a foreign flag).


The World’s Largest Research Expeditionary Vessel for the Arctic and Antarctic Will Be Built in Russia


The “Nevskoye Design Bureau” in cooperation with the “Admiralty Shipyards” and the Institute of the Arctic and Antarctic is developing a universal research expeditionary vessel code-named ‘Albatross’. Mikhail Rudenko, chief designer of the “Nevskoye Design Bureau”, informed about the ship’s project at the conference “Russia and Germany: Technological Partnership in the Field of Shipbuilding”.

He specified the primary technical characteristics of the ship:  Arc7 ice class, length – 160.4 m, width – 26 m, displacement – about 25 thousand tons.

Albatross’ will be equipped with the most modern components including two large cranes with a lifting capacity of 50 tons, a powerful ship propulsion complex with two 7.5 MW rudder-propeller AZIPOD drives,  hydraulic hatch covers and other marine engineering equipment – winches, spiers, etc. Moreover, all equipment must withstand extremely low temperatures.

Mr. Rudenko noted the fact that vessels like “Albatross’ have prospects for the development of exports from Russia.

Today Russia has the largest network of Antarctic stations. There are five stations in operation –  Novolazarevskaya, Progress, Bellingshausen, Mirny and Vostok. Inaddition, there are fieldairfields, sub-bases, etc. There are 53 Russian bases in the Arctic, and each of them has scientific personnel. Special scientific expedition ships are being built to supply the stations. There are three such vessels in Russia at the moment – ‘Mikhail Somov’, ‘Akademician Fedorov’ and ‘Akademician Treshnikov’. But the first two need to be replaced soon.

Research expeditionary vessels are designed not only to replace the personnel of the Arctic and Antarctic stations, but also to deliver various supplies – fuel, dry cargo and can independently conduct scientific research in the World Ocean. In terms of their functionality, such vessels combine the functions of a passenger vessel, research vessel, container ship, dry cargo ship, tanker, helicopter carrier and icebreaker. In other words, one vessel combines the functions of seven at once.

According to Mr. Rudenko, the construction of multi-functional ships has become a worldwide trend in recent years. As for the progress of construction of similar ships in other countries, in 2019 the “Snow Dragon – 2” was built in China. This year it is planned The commissioning of the British ship “Sir David Attenborough” is planned for 2021, the Canadian icebreaker “John Diefenbaker” will hopefully be constructed in 2022. Last year, the Australian Arc 3 research and supply vessel ‘Nuyina’ was launched at Galati shipyard in Romania and towed to the Damen shipyard in Vlissingen, Netherlands for fitting the equipment and completion of construction. Her length is 160.3 m. In other words, ‘Albatross’ will slightly surpass ‘Nuyina’ in size and become the largest icebreaking research expeditionary ship in the world.

Natalia Gusatchenko, “Water Transport” / News


Russia and India Connect the Continents with the ‘North-South’ Transport Corridor

January 29, 2021  “PortNews”


The ‘North-South’ transport corridor, which will compete with the route through the Suez Canal, is becoming increasingly clear-cut. The port of Mumbai will become a gateway to this route, India is the most interested party in this project. Russia will also receive enormous benefits from the international transport corridor, playing the role of a transit country.

The idea of ​​connecting continents with a full-fledged transport corridor has been discussed for 20 years. Initially, three states participated in the project: Russia, India and Iran. Their goal was to connect the Indian Ocean and the Persian Gulf with the Caspian Sea through Iran. This would provide a route to the Nordic countries via Russia. Later, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Ukraine, Belarus, Oman, Syria and Bulgaria (as an observer) joined the project.

The transport connectivity of these states will contribute to the development of trade in the Eurasian space.

Currently, cargo from India to Russia goes mainly via Europe and China. It takes a long time. For example, cargo going to Europe from India is delivered by sea to St. Petersburg within 40 days. Such long transportation is also expensive.

A test flight along the ‘North-South’ International transport corridor showed that cargo from India to Russia travels twice as fast via Iran and Azerbaijan. The cost of such transportation can be reduced by almost 30%, says the newspaper “Kommersant”.

Under the project, railways, highways and sea routes will be used for cargo transportation. A 50-kilometer railway line has already been constructed across Russia to the seaport of Olya in the Astrakhan region. The harbor will proceed a variety of container ships.

The launch of the route as a whole largely depends on the position and activity of India. This is the conclusion reached by the authors of the MGIMO study “Eurasian Strategies”. The challenge is that China, interested in increasing the possibilities of export supplies to Europe, is developing latitudinal routes, while India is considering meridional routes. India has already invested over two billion dollars in the project and plans to go further. Experts are confident that the start of cargo transportation along the ‘North-South’ international transport corridor , will accelerate bilateral Indian-Russian trade as well.