Russia Mulls Approval for Commercial Railways

The construction of commercial railways and other public-private partnership (PPP) projects in the field of transport will be discussed during the V Strategic Forum “Transport Infrastructure of Russia”, the press service of the Roscongress Foundation said. The forum will be held October 1-2, 2019 in Moscow.

Large mining and processing companies are increasingly declaring their readiness to build commercial railway lines, but without the active support of the federal center, these projects have stalled for many years, the report said. Market participants will discuss whether the state should help investors and whether the business will ultimately be able to create a federal railway network.

The implementation of regional PPP projects as a whole will be the main topic of the forum this year. The national project “Safe and high-quality roads” and the Comprehensive Plan for the modernization and expansion of the trunk infrastructure envisage the expansion of the road network and the creation of transport infrastructure facilities based on PPP. For these purposes, more than 10 trillion rubles are provided in the federal budget. However, while Russian and foreign companies are ready to invest in large federal projects, it is difficult to find investors for small regional and municipal projects.

One option is the construction of toll roads without free understudies in the Far North. The law on this comes into force. Experts will discuss whether investors will go to the North, and what will be the reaction of the population.

Forum participants will also discuss the possibility of using PPP mechanisms in urban transport. These may be projects to create lines of high-speed trams, cable cars, and smart stops. The issues of digitalization in transport will also be addressed. Smart services and information systems penetrate deeper and deeper into the transport sector, while technology is being introduced only with the active participation of the state.

Market representatives will discuss whether there is a place in this area for private investors, what niches they can occupy, how to accelerate the penetration of smart solutions into the regions and what prospects in this area are opened by the law signed by the President of Russia on the possibility of transferring exclusive rights to IT objects to a private partner created under PPP agreements.

The first day of the forum will end the road show of PPP projects applying for pre-project financing. On the second day of the forum, a training seminar “PPP projects in the transport sector: from idea to return on investment” is planned.

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