New way to Europe: from dream to reality
Transcontinental corridor “Western Europe – Western China” is a new way to Europe: from dream to reality.
Kazakhstan, located in the center of Eurasian continent, executes sequentially formation and development of modern transport infrastructure, particularly, automobile highways of the international meaning. Active process of integration into European and Asian regional systems of highways connecting most of the states of the Eurasian continent, large road junctions and terminals is in progress. Regarding this transcontinental automobile road corridor “Western Europe – Western China” is the major branch project of this millennium beginning. Major trade partners of Kazakhstan are interested in its development. Till date intergovernmental memorandums have been signed with Russia, China, and European Union.
Despite the world financial crisis an agreement on loan provision from the leading world financial institutions has been achieved. World Bank (IBRD) allocates finance resources for the amount of $ 2 bn 125 mln. This is the largest loan in the history of bank allocated to any country of the world. Taking into account Asian, European and Islamic Development Bank total amount of loans on the project will be $ 3.5 bn. Allocation of large financial resources on profitable terms for 25 years testifies the highest level of trust of the world financial institutions to the Kazakhstan’s economy.
Total length of the Corridor Saint-Petersburg – Moscow – Nizhniy Novgorod – Kazan – Orenburg – Aktobe – Kyzyl-Orda – Shymkent – Taraz – Kordai – Almaty – Khorgos – Urumqi – Lanzhou – Changzhou – Lianyungang is 8,445 km. 2,233 km of them pass through Russian Federation territory, 2,787 km – Republic of Kazakhstan, 3,425 km – People’s Republic of China.
In Kazakhstan 2,452 km of the road must to be rehabilitated. Project cost for Kazakhstan section is 825,1 billion Tenge, which is foresee to change 1390 km of the road to Technical Category I with 4-lane traffic (Kyzyl-Orda – Turkestan – Shymkent – Taraz – Almaty – Khorgos), other sections with total length of 1,062 km will be changed to Technical Category II (Russian federation boarder – Martu – Aktobe – Karabutak – Kyzyl-Orda).
It is foreseen to improve geometrical parameters (turns, visibility, gradient) through all Corridor, for ecology protection and keeping of good sanitary conditions by-passes of major settlements (Aktobe, Shagan, Aralsk, Kyzyl-Orda, Shiyeli, Zhanakorgan, Turkestan, Ikan, Temirlan, Shymkent, Taraz, Kulan, Tashkarasu, Zharkent, passes Kordai, Mashat, Kuyuk) are foreseen.
For the Project implementation three financial sources were determined. So, from the Republican Budget 136,1 billion Tenge are foreseen for rehabilitation of Section Karabutak – Irgiz – boarder of Kyzyl-Orda Region, Northern by-pass of Aktobe city, pass through the Shymkent city, exit to Big Almaty Encircling Highway, and co-financing of some sections with International Financial Institutes.
Second source are International loans from International Financial Institutes in total amount of 3,4 billion US Dollars. 2,125 billion US Dollars from this amount will be allocated by International Bank of Reconstruction and Development, 700 million US Dollars – by Asian Development bank, 398 million from Islamic Development bank, and 180 million from European Bank of Reconstruction and Development. It should be mentioned, that for International Bank of Reconstruction and Development this is the biggest loan in the bank history, allocated before to any country.
As a third financial source it is planned to attract private investments on concession base in amount of 266,6 billion Tenge. These assets will be allocated for rehabilitation of sections Almaty - Khorgos and Tashkent – Shymkent – boarder of Zhambyl Region.
Major positive line of this Project compared with existing alternative corridors (such as highway TransSib, and sea through Suez Channel) is its length and time on the way. If going by sea Corridor, it will take 45 days, and by TranSib – 14 days, but for Corridor “Western Europe – Western China” from Lianyungang port through the European boarder it will take 10 days only. The Project will provide cargo transportation on three main directions: China – Kazakhstan, China – Central Asia, China – Kazakhstan – Russia – Western Europe.
Research, done on stage of the Project Design development, indicates that to year of 2020 cargo transportation volume will increase 2,5 times. Annual summary efficiency of the Project implementation will be 33,9 billion Tenge due to release of time on the way, due to accident number reducing - 49,9 million Tenge, due to Gross Regional Product growing up – 82,9 billion Tenge.
The Project is of very high importance for Kazakhstan Economy. Major economical development will be in five large regionas of the country (Aktobe, Kyzylorda, South-Kazakhstan, Zhambyl and Almaty region, including Almaty city), with total number 7,5 million of people – almost half of the country population.
By initial assessment in year of 2010 quantity of work places will increase up to 50 thousand. Significant impulse will be given to development of small and middle business, service industry, tourism and other sectors of economy.
Construction and rehabilitation of automobile roads has been made in accordance with modern world technologies in Kazakhstan just now. All highways of international and republican importance has been rehabilitated in accordance with improved parameters taking into account larger weight loading (13 tons on axle) and the movement intensity.
Wide application of new construction materials including concrete coverage which considerably increases the strength and longevity of highways has already started. Together with it, Kazakhstan started almost all material production, used in modern road construction. Undoubtedly, successful execution of such large-scale project can’t be without wide participation of all countries and international community interested in.
Kazakhstan is an active participant of such international transport corridor as ТРАСЕКА, North – South, Middle Asian corridor, Trans-Asian Railway. Cooperation has been established with our neighbors within the frames of integration structures and international organizations, such as SOC, CIS Eurasian Economic Union, UN ЕЭК and ЭСКАТО, CAREC, СПЕКА and others.