OJSC RZD plans to start developing a feasibility study for the second Severomuisk tunnel in the near future, which will increase the capacity of this section of the BAM to 100 million tons per year. But the construction, according to "Kommersant", will not begin until 2025 - and only if by that time the cargo base will justify it. According to Kommersant sources, the whole project is still estimated at about 100 billion rubles, but the amount will depend on the chosen project. Kommersant's interlocutors support the idea of conducting a relatively inexpensive (300-500 million rubles.) Feasibility study now, and the decision on the construction itself to be postponed for the future: the conjuncture of the coal market may not justify investment.
The feasibility study for the Severomuisk Tunnel-2 at the Baikal-Amur Mainline should be ready by December 20, as follows from the protocol of instructions for the results of the meeting between Vice-Premiers Maxim Akimov and Dmitry Kozak on August 13 (Kommersant has). The Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Economy, Russian Railways and the Council of Consumers of the Monopoly were instructed to ensure the development.
On August 27, the head of the Russian Railways Oleg Belozerov spoke about the need to work out the construction of the second Severomuisk tunnel at a meeting of the presidential commission for the fuel and energy complex. "This is a bottleneck at the BAM," he explained. "In order to develop the Far East, we will need to increase the volume of traffic. If we build a second tunnel, it will give us the opportunity to transport not 16 million, but 100 million tons of cargo. " But he called the term of natural restriction the term of construction: "It is 15 km, and even with current technologies it will be about ten years". Mr. Belozerov urged to begin the initial feasibility study as soon as possible. In JSC Russian Railways and the Ministry of Transport refused to comment.
The longest on the Russian railways Severomuyskiy tunnel at BAM (15.3 km) was introduced in 2003 after 26 years of construction. Oleg Belozerov noted that now the tunnel passes 16 pairs of trains a day, the source of "Kommersant" in the industry says that it is actually somewhat larger: bottlenecks can be passed through a package schedule. The Severomuisky by-pass of BAM has also survived: on the swaying Devil's Bridge, only empty convoys are allowed to pass today.
Oleg Belozerov, general director of Russian Railways, August 27: "The Soviet Union built this tunnel (Severomuisky-Kommersant) for 25 years, for today we have 16 pairs of trains on it."
Like the Irkutsk-Slyudyanka section of the Transsib, the tunnel is the bottleneck of the bypass of Baikal, which inhibits the movement of cargo to the East. As Kommersant's interlocutor in the industry says, unlike the exits from Kuzbass, this is one of the areas that can not be developed gradually, a large-scale construction is needed. According to him, the tunnel expansion to 100 million tons will give an increase in the carrying capacity of about 30-50 million tons per year. "The question is whether those millions of tons, how much they will cost and how long construction will last," he says. "And if, after spending 300-500 million rubles. for design, you can get a clear answer, it's practical, so would any private investor. " According to him, these funds could be removed from the bridge project to Sakhalin (0.54-1 trillion rubles depending on the approaches) "without prejudice to the project, since after solving the issue of the Severomuisk tunnel it becomes clearer whether there is a cargo base for the bridge ". But the implementation of all activities related to the development of the Baikal-Amur Mainline and the further access to Sakhalin, says another interlocutor of Kommersant, is very much dependent on the port's project on the island, and there is still no clarity with either potential investors, cargo nomenclature or traffic distribution between the ports of the Far Eastern Federal District.
The start of the feasibility study for the tunnel, says one of Kommersant sources, will depend on whether this item will be included in the protocol of the meeting of the presidential commission for the fuel and energy sector. In those versions of the draft protocol that Kommersant saw, there is still no such item.
The evaluation of the construction of the Severomuisk Tunnel-2 is not given in the documents. One source of Kommersant says about the amount of about 100 billion rubles. Another specifies that it can change significantly depending on the project. According to a Kommersant source familiar with the situation, Russian Railways plans to begin construction no earlier than 2025, if the growth rate of coal exports continues at that time.
"The Severomuisk tunnel really limits the carrying capacity in the east, but this does not apply to the volumes that are planned for the BAM-2 project," says Mikhail Burmistrov, head of Infoline Analytics. "When we talk about BAM- 3 ", then it makes sense to consider it in conjunction with the second tunnel." According to the expert, if the rate of growth of coal loading up to 2025 looks reliable, then beyond the horizon of 2035 there is a mass of forks related to the coal situation. And the reference of the decision for 2025 seems quite justified, says Mr. Burmistrov.