No toll, no investments
Transport ministry and Avtodor earlier negotiated the project with potential infrastructure investors. In early June, Deputy Minister Oleg Belozerov said Avtodor signed a memo with China Communications Construction Company. “Our Chinese partners expressed interest in technology, engineering and investments,” he said.
The sanctioned Russian companies also showed keen interest in financing the bridge. In May, Gennady Timchenko who controls the construction holding Stroytransgaz and holds 25% stakes in construction companies MOST and ARKS announced plans to participate. NWF was also considered as a source.
“But the bridge will be toll-free, which means there are no sources for return on private investments. Even the railway tariff on the bridge railway section will not provide an attractive return on investment,” a source told ITAR-TASS.
Kozak confirmed the estimates.
“The first estimates show that even a toll for freight transport will not provide a necessary return on NWF investment but we agreed that we’ll continue calculations,” he said but did not rule out the project could be carried out in a public private partnership with the use of the NWF.