ST. PETERSBURG, December 5. /TASS/. Yakutia’s government negotiates with Chinese and Japanese investors a project of building a bridge across the Lena River, the republic’s head Yegor Borisov said on Tuesday.
"For Yakutia, the bridge across Lena is a priority investment project," he said at the Arctic forum in St. Petersburg. "We have seen interest from Chinese investors, including the ChinaPower Company."
"This company now studies and works on a financial model [for the construction project]," he explained. "Japanese investors also have demonstrated interest, though we have not discussed details with them - it is still an open question when the project would be and under what conditions."
"We shall offer favorable conditions to solving of this biggest problem in the republic, which is related to the supplies of goods for winter from the mainland," he continued, adding Yakutia’s 60% depend on those supplies, which eventually mean added costs and thus higher prices. "Construction of a bridge will make easier development of other sectors of the economy in Central Yakutia."
The only bridge across the Lena River is in the Irkutsk Region, and thus it is a major project for the republic - it may be the base for a big logistics center near the republic’s capital Yakutsk, to where could come the railway, the river and air transports, as well as regional roads. With the bridge, the annual cargo transportation may grow by three times - to six million tonnes. The total lengh of the bridge and the roads leading to it is 21 kilometers.
TASS wrote earlier that a bridge across the Lena River could cost 55-64 billion rubles ($936 million - 1 billion).
The seventh international forum - The Arctic: Present and Future - is working in St. Petersburg on December 4-6. This time, the event’s key topics are development of the Arctic backbone zones, and the social and economic development of the Polar territories. The forum’s organizer is the Association of Polar Explorers inter-regional non-governmental organization.