The development costs for the Baikal-Amur Mainline railway, BAM, and the Trans-Siberian Railway may increase by 10.5 percent, Vedomosti business daily reported Monday, citing the modernization project’s charter.
The cost estimate has grown to 62 billion rubles ($1.7 billion) after the Mezhdurechensk-Tayshet branch was included in the project at a cost of 40 million rubles ($1.1 million), as well as the railway access to the Kuznetsk Basin, a Siberian coal mining area also known as the Kuzbass, a government official told the paper.
The charter was drafted at the request of Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich and is expected to be approved by the government at the end of August.
The total spending on the new high-capacity BAM-2 construction, as well as the modernization of BAM and the Trans-Siberian was expected to cost 562 billion rubles ($16.4 billion) by 2018, with state rail transport company Russian Railways, RZD, providing 302 billion rubles ($8.8 billion), and 260 billion rubles ($7.6 billion) coming from the state budget.
The new Mezhdurechensk-Tayshet railway section will require the state to invest an additional 26.2 billion rubles ($726 million) and RZD to contribute 3.2 billion rubles ($89 million).
The project charter also foresees increasing the railway’s freight-handling capacity to 75 million tons a year, although RZD head Vladimir Yakunin said the given budget would only allow raising the capacity to 66 million tons a year.