«High-speed Railway»
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05 february

Investors are attracted by speed

Two consortia are ready to become concessionaires for the construction of several sections of the Moscow-Kazan High-Speed Rail Line (HSR). The first is Transmashholding (Alstom, the French manufacturer of TGV high-speed trains, has blocking shares in the company) and France-based Bouygues Construction, and the second is Dmitry Pumpyansky's Sinara Group and the German company Siemens, as a source at OAO Russian Railways told Vedomosti, and sources close to the consortia confirmed. A source close to OAO Russian Railways reports that Gennady Timchenko's STG is also interested in the project. “We follow the development of the project with interest, but so far, there have been no substantive negotiations,” stated a resource close to Timchenko's Volga Resources.

Representatives from Siemens and Transmashholding refused to comment. A representative of Bouygues Construction and Sinara did not answer questions. A representative of JSC High-Speed Rail Lines, a subsidiary of OAO Russian Railways, confirmed that the company is in talks with several companies to conclude concession agreements, but he would not name them. The names of the bidders who will participate in the concessions will be known after March 3-5. Final meetings with investors are scheduled for these dates. The terms of the concessions are still unknown.

All of the contenders to participate as concessionaires have expressed interest in HSR at various times. In the summer of 2013, JSC High-Speed Rail Lines held talks with French companies, including Alstom and Bouygues, about the construction of HSR. At the end of last year, Joe Kaeser, President and CEO of Siemens, spoke about his interest in HSR projects. “Our company is ready to take on the technical part of the project, including electrification and power supply, management systems, rolling stock, communications, arranging service for rolling stock, including equipping the depot and infrastructure systems,” he said. Siemens has similar experience: it participated in the construction of the Sapsan rapid line between Moscow and St. Petersburg.

OAO Russian Railways plans to launch a Moscow-Vladimir branch in 2017, and the HSR line to Kazan will start running trains in 2018. OAO Russian Railways plans to conclude concession agreements for three sections: Vladimir-Nizhny Novgorod, Nizhny Novgorod-Cheboksary, and Cheboksary-Kazan. The construction cost of these sections is RUB 685 billion. (Total cost of the Moscow-Kazan HSR is RUB 1.06 trillion, including rolling stock.) OAO Russian Railways proposed to implement the Moscow-Vladimir section using both public and private funds (RUB 191.9 billion). OAO Russian Railways estimates that RUB 381 billion will be required from the state budget, RUB 150 billion from the National Wealth Fund, and RUB 139 billion from the State Pension Fund for the construction of the HSR. It is still not clear whether these funds will be allocated. An official from the federal government notes that the state budget does not have any money for this project.

The fate of the Moscow-Kazan HSR Project will be determined this spring: the government is set to review the approval of a new concept for the construction of the line. Last week, Transport Minister Maksim Sokolov said that the Moscow-Kazan HSR Project “is completely ready for approval by the government and for further implementation” (according to Interfax). Earlier, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev proposed “we must wait until the economy returns to somewhat more vigorous growth” (as quoted by Interfax). If the government adopts a new scheme for the project's implementation, then the tender to select concessionaires will be held as early as the end of 2014, and the results of the tender will be announced in mid 2015.

Источник: http://www.vedomosti.ru/auto/news/22319691/investorov-privlekla-skorost

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