MOSCOW, October 20. /TASS/. Key export project of Gazprom — gas pipeline Power of Siberia under construction in China — faced logistical problems, Kommersant newspaper reported Tuesday. According to the newspaper, Gazprom has offered the state to conduct dredging on the Zeya River in the Amur region; otherwise the company and its contractors would have to bear additional costs for delivery of pipes and equipment.
The proposal of Gazprom is based on the fact that the current water-way limits vessel draft and the volume of cargo, newspaper cited sources close to the meeting in the Russian Transport Ministry within the framework of the action plan on state gas pipeline Power of Siberia.
Cargo transportation by the Zeya River is needed not only for the construction of a gas pipeline, but also for the delivery of equipment for the Amur gas processing plant, which will be built near the town Svobodny in the Amur region. The water-way currently allows transportation of barges with a draft of 1.1-1.3 m, and dredging will attract and the vessels with a draft of 1.7 m. According to the newspaper’s sources, load capacity of these vessels depends on the type, but may vary 1.5-2-fold.
According to the sources, the Federal Marine and River Transport Agency is skeptical about the Gazprom initiative, noting that the cost of dredging on the Zeya River could cost 250 mln rubles ($4 mln) per year, and the federal budget does not have the money and the region does not have the necessary equipment. At the moment, Power of Siberia is scheduled for 2019, the Amur gas processing plant — not before 2022. That means that the total cost of dredging the period could reach 1.7 bln rubles ($27.25 mln). Instead the Federal Marine and River Transport Agency offered Gazprom to think about bringing river barges with a draft of 1.3 m under a foreign flag.
Gazprom did not comment on the situation.