17 Nov 2022 14:07

Trutnev sees 'rather many impediments' for operation of Trans-Baikal Grain Terminal

MOSCOW. Nov 17 (Interfax) - The Trans-Baikal Grain Terminal, launched during the Eastern Economic Forum, offers great opportunities for expanding trade in agricultural products between Russia and China, but there are still many obstacles to its operation, Russian Deputy Prime Minister and presidential envoy to the Far Eastern Federal District Yury Trutnev told reporters following a meeting of the Russia-China intergovernmental commission for cooperation and development of the Far East, Russia's Baikal region and the Chinese northeast on Thursday.

"Now there are quite a lot of obstacles, although I am talking about the growth of cooperation, but quite a few obstacles are related to cargo clearance, with Covid-19 protection regimes. The new grain terminal will require effective work and oversight bodies - Rosselkhoznozdor, customs - on both sides. This whole regime should be drawn up," Trutnev said.

Addressing the co-chairman of the commission - Deputy Premier of the State Council of China Hu Chunhua, he asked that the possibility of accelerating work on the Chinese side be considered.

In general, Trutnev believes that both countries have great opportunities for cooperation in agriculture. "The Russian side is ready to continue increasing exports of agricultural products to the Chinese market and in this regard is paying special attention to the Russia - China New Land Grain Corridor project, the key element of which is the Trans-Baikal grain terminal with a transshipment capacity of 8 million tonnes per year," he said at the meeting. "Here it will be possible to organize storage and transshipment of a portion of the grain headed to China. This will significantly increase the speed of cargo passage," he said.

As reported, the Trans-Baikal Grain Terminal was put into operation on September 6. It is the world's first specialized railway terminal and the largest grain logistics facility in Russia. Investments in it amounted to 9 billion rubles, comprising entirely private funds. The terminal solves the problem of different gauges of Russian and Chinese railroads during grain deliveries. Furthermore, it ensures complete traceability of grain.

The New Land Grain Corridor Group also launched a program to build seven hub modernized linear elevators along the Trans-Siberian Railway with a total storage capacity of 1.4 million tonnes in the Far Eastern, Siberian and Ural Federal Districts, as well as a sea terminal in the Far East and grain hubs in Kazakhstan for transshipment of Russian grain, the group said in a statement.

According to the SPARK-Interfax system, the owner of the Trans-Baikal grain terminal is New Land Grain Corridor LLC, in which RVM Capital Management holds a 65% stake.