The government has found no money to electrify the railways to China

The expansion of BAM and the Trans-Siberian Railway in order to increase exports to China turned out to be a problem – about 200 billion rubles are not enough for the electrification of the railway, writes Vedomosti, citing a representative of Rossetti.

According to him, the investment program of the federal grid company does not allow the start of the electrification of BAM and the Trans-Siberian Railway (eastern polygon). “The Rosseti Group asks for sources of financing for the investment program, taking into account the need to fulfill national tasks,” he said.

The interlocutor did not specify from which sources the lack of funds could be covered. The company will need 198.8 billion rubles. for the first stage of electrification and 267 billion for the second. In total, the project is estimated at 428.3 billion rubles.

During a meeting with Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin on March 14, Rosseti’s president Andrei Ryumin asked the government to find funds for the second stage of the extension of the eastern training ground. At the same time, he noted that according to the first stage “all sources are imported, synchronized and are in the investment program”, and according to the second “they have not been fully regulated”.

In December 2022, Deputy Minister of Energy Anatoly Grabchak estimated the total deficit of the Rosseti investment program until 2026 at 225 billion rubles, of which 170 billion in the eastern training ground. He then suggested considering the possibility of covering the deficit of the investment program from the budget or through loans from the Social Welfare Fund “on special terms”.

The modernization of BAM and the Trans-Siberian Railway is the largest infrastructure project to increase rail capacity to China. By 2024, the load capacity should increase from 150 million tons of cargo to 180 million tons per year. The cost of the first stage of modernization (2013-2018) amounted to 520.5 billion rubles. The second stage (2018-2024) is estimated at 894 billion rubles. The project is mainly financed by Russian Railways.

As part of the second stage of modernization, Rosseti must commission seven power grid facilities. Three facilities are to be built by the end of 2023: two 220 kV lines Zilovo – Kholbon – Mogocha and Komsomolskaya – Start in the Far East and a 500 kV Ust-Ilimskaya HPP – Ust-Kut line. The company was unable to specify dates for four more facilities.

Russian Railways has proposed to postpone the electrification of the Komsomolsk-Sortirovochny-Vanino section, Vedomosti wrote earlier. However, the Ministry of Energy informed that the transfer is not planned.

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