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Arctic-bound railway to go to new deepwater port

The new port may serve goods from certain Shanghai Cooperation Organization countries, according to Arkhangelsk Region’s Acting Governor Alexander Tsybulsky

ARKHANGELSK, May 19. /TASS/. The planned deepwater year-round port near Indiga, a settlement on the Barents Sea coast, along with Arkhangelsk, will be a final point of the Belkomur (White Sea - Komi - Urals) Arctic-bound railway. The Indiga port will be able to handle deliveries from Kyrgyzstan, China and Kazakhstan, the Arkhangelsk Region’s Acting Governor Alexander Tsybulsky told reporters on Monday.

Belkomur was intended as the shortest route connecting industrial districts in West Siberia with the sea port in Arkhangelsk. Through this project Arkhangelsk hopes to regain the status of the Northern Sea Route’s main port, which it lost following the construction of the sea port in Murmansk in 1916.

The railway’s latest project envisages a branching line from Belkomur’s main route connecting the Arkhangelsk and the Nenets Autonomous Region. "It will be about 500km long," the official said. "The topography is not complicated, and we do not expect any expensive works there."

Investments in the line’s construction are estimated at 200 billion rubles ($2.75 billion). The port in Arkhangelsk "will handle its part of the cargo, and Indiga will handle mostly export deliveries, which are now shipped bypassing Arkhangelsk," he added.

The new port may serve goods from certain SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization) countries, Tsybulsky continued.

"Kyrgyzstan is about to make a decision on investments in railway projects. They plan to make a railway line across the country, so that to handle Chinese goods. If we take those deliveries ‘upwards’, then, first of all, we’ll handle the Kyrgyz cargo — not big amounts though, I believe up to five million tonnes. We may also take some part of the Chinese cargo… Plus we may serve Kazakhstan, which is a subject for summit talks each year — a transit of about 30-40 million tonnes of coal," he said.