27 Jul 2023 19:56

Russian Railways counting on allocation of targeted loan to finance contract to upgrade Cuba's railways

ST. PETERSBURG. July 27 (Interfax) - JSC Russian Railways is counting on the allocation of a targeted loan for financing the contract to upgrade and modernize Cuba's railway infrastructure, RZD said in presented materials.

"There are plans to continue cooperating with the Cuban side and Russian financial institutions regarding the matter of allocating a targeted export loan for implementing the project to upgrade and modernize Cuba's railway infrastructure as part of the signed contract," according to the Russian Railways interactive presentation at its booth at the Russia-Africa forum.

Preparation of a technical and commercial proposal for implementing the optimized first stage of the contract will reportedly begin after the Russian government decides to allocate a targeted export loan.

The speed of trains along Cuba's railway infrastructure will increase from 40-60 km/hour to 120 km/hour upon implementation of the project. Freight traffic will grow from 14.7 million tons to 21.6 million tons, passenger traffic will rise from 7.8 million travelers to 24.3 million travelers, and the trip from Havana to Santiago de Cuba will be cut from 20 to 12 hours, according to the presentation.

As previously reported, Railways of Cuba, which is a subsidiary of Russian Railways International and the Union of Railways, in October 2019 signed a contract to upgrade and modernize Cuba's railway network. The 10-year contract price at the time was 1.88 billion euros.