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Russia’s RZD eyes railway electrification project in Iran and terminal in North Korea

July 08, 2014, 11:36 UTC+3 TYNDA (Amur region)

Russian Railways and North Korea will soon put into operation a terminal in the North Korean port of Rason

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Railway in North Korea

Railway in North Korea

© AP Photo/Kim Kwang Hyon

TYNDA, July 08. /ITAR-TASS/. OJSC Russian Railways (RZD) discusses with Iran the project to electrify 600 kilometres of railway lines in the republic at a cost of more than one billion euro, RZD Vice-President Alexander Saltanov told reporters.

“We have a concrete project which had been discussed with Iran in the previous week. A delegation of RZD and RZD International will go there soon to work on the data for a technical task,” Saltanov said, adding that a railway section in Iran stretching at around 600 kilometres would be electrified.

The RZD vice-president noted that the final cost of the project was not determined yet, but, according to RZD estimates, it might reach more than one billion euro.


Korean project

Russian Railways and North Korea will shortly commission a terminal in the North Korean port of Rason, company President Vladimir Yakunin told a session reviewing a project to update railway infrastructure on Tuesday.

“We will shortly officially unveil the terminal that we established there (in Rason) jointly with North Korea,” Yakunin said, adding that the ceremony would be held on July 18.

Vice President of Russian Railways Alexander Saltanov told reporters that transhipment amounts at the terminal were scheduled at the level of 4 to 5 million tons. Russia was the main investor in the project.

“At first it (the terminal) was designed for container shipping, but we have agreed with the North Korean leadership that in the meantime it will be used for the shipment of Russian coal,” Saltanov said. He said for the time being the main cargoes handled at the terminal would be of Mechel (one of Russia’s leading mining and metals companies). “But in principle, other our companies as well as foreign partners demonstrate interest in it, seeking to shorten transportation time,” the vice president said, citing as an example South Korean companies, in particular POSCO.

Earlier reports said an agreement on the start of reconstruction work on the Khasan-Rason railroad and the port of Rason as a pilot project to restore the Trans-Korean Railway was reached at the first three-party meeting of the heads of Russian, North Korean and South Korean railway administrations in 2006.


Construction in Vietnam

 Russian Railways has also agreed a concept of a 180-kilometer railway line construction worth about $1 billion with Vietnamese partners, RZD Vice-President Alexander Saltanov told journalists.

“Our team has just returned from Vietnam, where the work on the railway line concept for transportation of Vietnamese bauxites to sea ports is nearing completion,” he said. We hope our Vietnamese partners will present it to the government within 2-3 weeks.”

The precise final costs estimated at slightly more than $1 billion would be determined by the Vietnamese government, he said adding the project was planned to be financed by the major Vietnamese private company An Vien.

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