Cutting a corridor in the Chinese Wall
If Peter the Great’s achievements were acknowledged as a window to Europe, present-day Russia is cutting transport corridors in the Great Wall of China. The development of two corridors has been announced already with the third one proposed recently. They are supposed to build up cargo turnover of Far East ports making them transit bases for cargo flows between China and the states of the Asia-Pacific region.
China is a huge market of production and consumption. Having common border with this country against the deteriorating relations with Europe, Russia is interested in improvement of transport links with the Celestial Empire. Geographic location of the Primorsk Territory bordering the North-East of China and having a vast coast represents good prospects for the development of transit transshipment complexes.
In this context, Primorsk Territory has announced the projects on the development of so called “transport corridors” to deliver goods from China’s northern provinces to the ports of Primorsk Territory for transshipment and further transportation to other countries of the Asia-Pacific region.
The decision to develop transport corridors Primorje-1 and Primorje-2 through attraction of investments was made at the meeting held in Primorsk Territory by Yury Trutnev, Presidential Envoy to the Far Eastern Federal District, on June 24, 2014. As Primorsk Territory Governor Vladimir Miklushevsky said after the meeting, a decision was made to elaborate a transport model of both corridors for a better understanding of where private investments are to be attracted and where state support is needed.
It should be noted that transport corridor Primorje-1 is already operational. It was created within the framework of the Expanded Tumagan Initiative. The corridor runs from the border station Suifenhe with a container line up to container terminal of Vostochnaya Stevedore Company at port Vostochny. The route is some 500 km long while an alternative route via Chinese port Dalian would run for some 1,300 km. Besides, the corridor includes a highway Ussurijsk-Pogranichny-Gosgranitsa. The corridor also has the links to Vladivostok and Nakhodka. This route ensures the transit of container cargoes from China to USA, Japan and S. Korea.
Primorje-2 and Primorje-3
Primorje-2 corridor links the Jilin province of China with Zarubino, Posjet and Slavyanka ports. It is a segment of Tumagansky corridor.
In June 2014, a Chinese company on state assets management became an investor of this corridor having signed an agreement with GroupTranzit - DV Co., LTD.
The agreement provides for join construction and operation of infrastructure facilities of port Slavyanka with the purpose to arrange transit container transportation of up to 10 mln t per year. Commercial cargoes from North East provinces of China will be transshipped in Slavyanka to boxships for further transportation to different consignees worldwide.
The agreement relates to construction of a container terminal and organization of off-harbour transshipment of containers without mooring of vessels. Investments are also supposed into expansion of a highway from Slavyanka to Russia – China state border as well as to other infrastructure projects.
As for port Zarubino, it has its own large-scale project. Big Port Zarubino project is being implemented by FESCO Group (controlled by Summa Group). First phase of the project is to become operational in 2018. As IAA PortNews was informed by Marat Shaidayev, BoD member of Summa Group, the first phase is to ensure transshipment of up to 500,000 TEUs per year, up to 10 mln t of grain, cargo transshipment via multipurpose sea terminal and servicing of passenger ships. The project also implies the construction of an alumina terminal as well as ro-ro and passenger terminals.
Up to 60% of the cargo flow will come from China; export to the Asia-Pacific Region will account for 30% of the cargo flow with 10% of it to be ensured by export/import operations of Russian companies.
There is a proposal to include Primorje-1 and Primorje-2 corridors into the territory of rapid development with investors to obtain certain preferences.
Meanwhile, yet another transport corridor, Primorje-3, has been proposed by Vladivostok head Igor Pushkarev. He noted that Primorje-1 corridor from Russia-China border to Vladivostok is 240 km long, Primorje-2 is 130 km long. «Our proposal is a transport corridor from the border with China to Vladivostok of just 65 km. – Igor Pushkarev comments. - In our opinion, it will contribute to more efficient use of Transport Development Ministry’s resources for construction of Primorye transport network and to achievement of better results. That is, with less money we can get a three times shorter and more efficient road. It will let us direct all the cargoes to Vladivostok ports and to cut to way to Vostochny Port in Nakhodka and Zarubino. We consider it to be a very interesting project, therefore we forwarded it to plenipotentiary envoy Yury Trutnev who made an instruction to go into this issue.»
Anyway, the anchor gas contract with China is likely to give an impetus to the development of transport links with this country while Russian ports in the Primorsk Territory will obtain new prospects for the development as transit and logistic centers.