President Dmitry Medvedev: Pyotr Mikhailovich, we have one “dear” project, which we have been dealing with for quite a time. I mean the Ural Industrial – Ural Polar program. This is a serious and large program with an eye to the future. Could you please update me on its implementation? What decisions have been made, what projects have been started, what projects have yet to get underway, and what should be done to step up the efforts?
Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoy To the Ural Federal District Pyotr Latyshev: “We have started carrying out this project. Now we are designing the main railroad from the Polunochnaya station to Obskaya station in the north. This work will be completed by next March. It is being done by Lengiprotrans and Uralgiprotrans in cooperation with our German colleagues. They are using modern innovation methods such as laser sensing and three-dimensional modeling, so the design should be finished quickly.
Medvedev: Could you remind me what distance will be covered?
Latyshev: The road will be 890 km long (553 miles). At the same time, we are designing a railroad to link Salekhard and Nadym, which will cover 380 km (236 miles). That project will be also ready in 2009, which means that we can start building the railroad in 2010.
Medvedev: How will we fund it?
Latyshev: The government has already taken a decision on its funding, and approved the investment project. We are expecting to receive the first four billion rubles allocated for design works soon.
We are more worried about the financing of the railroad construction in 2010–2015. Every year, we will have to spend about 25 billion rubles ($1.07 billion) on its construction. Needless to say, we are doing our best to include investment fund appropriations in the budgets for 2010 and subsequent years. I’d like to recall that 105 billion rubles ($4.5 billion) for the railroad’s construction will come from the federal investment fund, while private investors will contribute another 359 billion rubles ($15.3 billion).
Medvedev: How much private money have you raised? What is its share in the project’s funding?
Latyshev: So far this year we have signed 176 billion rubles ($7.5 billion) worth of investment agreements. That is private money.
Medvedev: That is guaranteed funding. I understand, the companies involved are ready to fund the project on the principles of public-private partnership. Is this right?
Latyshev: They are ready to do this while the state will be resolving its infrastructure project – the railroad’s construction. Negotiations on nine license deposits will be completed before the end of this year.
Medvedev: What regions will take part in the project?
Latyshev: All the regions of the Ural Federal District are taking part in this project. Our industrial areas, notably, the Chelyabinsk, Sverdlovsk, and Kurgan regions will receive major contracts under this project. Their value has already exceeded 200 billion rubles ($8.5 billion). These contracts provide for the manufacture of bridges, rail-tracks, and power equipment.
Construction of iron-ore plants may further increase the value of these contracts. Importantly, our Urals industry can meet the entire demand for machines, metal, and equipment for the development of these iron-ore deposits.
Medvedev: This is very good. As you know, we consider infrastructure to be the key factor for the development of the Russian economy up to 2020. Such major projects as “Ural Industrial – Ural Polar” should be the foundation of our work in the next few years.