Source Pravda.Ru

Russian Government Approves of New Ferry Line to Connect Russia, Germany

As Vladimir Yakunin, a Deputy Minister of Railroads of Russia said today at the presentation of a railroad-automobile ferry line to connect Ust-Luga and Kaliningrad with German ports, the Ministry supports this project. He concluded saying, 'We are interested in the development of the port infrastructure in Ust-Luga and the creation of the ferry line'. According to the estimate done by the Pro-Invest company participating in the feasibility study for the project, it may cost about $90 million, $63 million of that to pay for the construction of a ferry terminal at Ust-Luga, another terminal at the port of Baltiisk, the Kaliningrad Region, to cost $27 million. According to estimates, the overall cargo turnover of the ferry line may reach 3.2 million tonnes by the year 2015. The project should pay for itself over 12 years.

The construction of the infrastructure of the new ferry line may begin in the third quarter of the year 2003. To finance this project, a consortium will be created to include foreign investment banks, ship owners and forwarding companies. Alexander Idrisov, the General Director of Pro-Invest believes that to finance the project, certain amounts must be contributed by Russia's federal treasury, the forecasts as to the cargo turnover being not promising enough to obtain 100% commercial financing.

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