Khabarovsk to Samarga: The Russian logistics firm Samarga – Holding has pledged to raise $6.5 billion to build a new railway corridor linking Eastern and Western Russia via connections between the Samarga River and the Trans-Siberian Railway (TSR).
x Centers of Commerce and Sandy Beaches
Khabarovsk, a bustling metropolis on the banks of the Amur River is a major industrial city in the heart of Eastern Russia. Hosting a wide range of industries including oil refining, timber, and light manufacturing, it sits on the crossroads of the Amur and Trans-Siberian Railway. Regional cargo is fed to both Western Russia and ports along the Pacific through Khabarovsk. Today, waves lap the shores surrounding the mouth of the Samarga River in Primorsky Territory. Nothing but sand meets the eye for miles in either direction. Samarga – Holding plans to change that by 2025 creating a new warm water port on the Sea of Japan. Designed to handle up to 80 million tons of cargo Port Samarga will increase Russia’s access to the Pacific. After completion container services could offer connections from Eastern Russia to China, Japan and Korea. Ferry services are also being considered which could connect more remote regions of the Far East such as Sakhalin, Kamchatka, Magadan and the Kuril Islands. Samarga – Holdings has also planned a new city of 50,000 people to support the neighboring seaport.
New Rail for Eastern Russia:
A new 236-mile rail corridor would connect Port Samarga to Khabarovsk and the Trans-Siberian Railway cutting 342 miles off the transit from Russia’s Pacific coast. A state of the art logistics center would be built at the Rakitnoye site in Khabarovsk’s Special Economic Zone coordinating traffic to and from Primorsky Territory. The Samarga International Transport Corridor was debuted this month at the Eastern Economic Forum held in Vladivostok. Principles are seeking to generate support for the project from backers in Russia and neighboring countries.
An ambitious project requires ambitious funding:
The project has received backing from the Kbarovskiy Krai regional administration including tax relief for the first five years of operations. Samarga – Holding has sought investors throughout the region including the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and the ROTOBO Business Association of Japan. Created in 1967 ROBOTO is engaged in the promotion of trade and business development between Japan and the countries of Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia and Mongolia. There are over 200 member companies trading within the scope of the association.
What does the future hold for Eastern Russia?
Today there are only three major ports in Russia trading with the world, Vladivostok on the Pacific, St. Petersburg in the Baltic and Crimea on the Black Sea. The future Port of Samarga would add warm water capacity to Russia’s Pacific coast; and the Samarga Khabarovsk rail corridor could provide faster transport of cargo to and from European Russia.
The question, which remains to be answered, is: Does Russia really need that additional capacity and can Samarga – Holding actually secure the funds necessary to begin such an ambitious project?