Discussions are ongoing between Roman Trotsenko’s AEON Corporation and Russia’s railway monopoly RZD over the development of a coal export port in the Nenets Autonomous Region and a railway line to it. According to Tass, AEON Corporation may invest US$890m in the Indiga port project, which is anticipated to export up to 50m tonnes of coal and provide high-tonnage access to the Northern Sea Route. The project has an overall cost of US$4.5bn and is estimated to take between 5 and 15 years to complete. “We continue discussions with RZD, but a decision is still due,” Trotsenko told reporters on Wednesday. “We have made the project’s estimates, we hope the Railways will support it.”
He added: “We still need to make additional estimates, as there are problems with connecting to the Sverdlov railway line, but this is the only, first of all, the most close to Kuzbass project to transport the locally produced coals in any direction – 400,000 km to the east or 3,300 km to the west. Thus, it would be the shortest route to big water.”
The project would not be an alternative to the Baikal-Amur (BAM) or Trans-Siberian (TransSib) Railways, he continued. “Expanding BAM and TransSib could be if additionally we receive, say 150 million tonnes of [transported] cargo,” he said. “Here, we speak about the target of about 30 million tonnes.” The project’s investors may be Kuzbassrazrezugol (a coal producer), Andrey Melnickenko’s SUEK, and Roman Trotsenko’s AEON. A decision from RZD could be made in 2019. One of the ways to implement the project is to have a concession.