Transit cargo transportation through our country to grow to 35 million tons by 2029

The volume of transported cargo from China to Europe through our country has increased significantly in recent years, with the share of China in Kazakhstan's transit traffic increased to 27%, amounting to 6.2 million tons. This was stated by Minister of Transportation Marat Karabayev at the Government session. 

The geographical position of Kazakhstan provides great opportunities for the development of transit potential. For 10 months of the current year the volume of transit freight traffic through the territory of our republic increased by 19% and amounted to 22.5 million tons. At the same time, container transportation increased by 15%. In general, the volume of rail freight transportation increased by 3%, reaching 246 million tons. The plan is to increase this figure to 300 million tons of cargo by the end of 2023. 

According to the Minister, at present rail transport fully meets the needs of the economy. Since the beginning of the year, export transportation amounted to 70.7 million tons, increasing by 8.5%. The volume of passenger transportation has grown by 2.5%, about 16.6 million people have been transported in total. 

"As part of the Head of State's instruction to develop the country's transport and logistics potential, special attention is now being paid to transit transportation. The indicator of container transportation for 2022 increased by 29% compared to 2020. The growth rate in the current year remains at 15%. The main transit directions are the PRC and Russia. At the same time, our main task is to maximize the attractiveness of trans-Kazakhstan directions and provide adequate infrastructure to meet the needs of the economy and international transit," Karabayev said.

For further development of the industry in Kazakhstan until 2029 it is planned to work in the following areas: 

  • development of border points;
  • development of mainline railway networks, including construction of new and second tracks, modernization of hub stations, overhaul of railroads and introduction of autoblocking;
  • provision of rolling stock (locomotives and freight cars);
  • improvement of tariff policy;
  • passenger car renewal.

It is expected that the implementation of all these tasks will make it possible to increase transit traffic through Kazakhstan to 35 million tons by 2029, including container transit - up to 2 million TEU.

On the borders of our country, neighboring with 5 states, 27 railway border checkpoints are functioning. Most of them are fully utilizing their capacity. By the end of the year, the technical capacities of Dostyk, Altynkol and Saryagash stations in the directions of PRC and a number of CA countries will be fully utilized. 

"Two border points in the Chinese direction will be modernized, 20 station tracks will be built there. Works on Dostyk station will be considered as part of the construction of second tracks on the Dostyk - Moyinty section. All these measures will further increase the throughput capacity of the two stations up to 14 million tons per year," the minister said.

Marat Karabayev also informed about the negotiations with the Chinese side, within the framework of which an agreement was reached on the construction of second tracks on the section Jinghe - Khorgos. After completion of all works, the throughput capacity of these stations will increase by another 14 million tons. Expected annual transshipment volumes are 56 million tons of cargo.

The opening of the third border crossing point Bakhty - Tacheng is planned. The implementation of the project will increase the capacity of the border railway infrastructure by 20 million tons. Annual throughput capacity in the Chinese direction will grow to 76 million tons of cargo.

Kazakhstan also has big plans to develop the Central Asian route. The Darbaza-Maktaaral railway line will be built in this direction, providing throughput capacity of up to 10 million tons of cargo. 

In addition to border points, a lot of work is being done to modernize the main networks. As of today, their total length is 16 thousand kilometers. Of these, only 5 thousand kilometers are double-track and 4 thousand 200 kilometers are electrified. According to the Ministry's estimates, the level of wear and tear of the railroad network reaches 57%.

In order to ensure uninterrupted transportation and increase capacity, 567 km of sections were overhauled this year. In addition, 4 major projects with a total length of 1300 km are being implemented in this direction. 

On the section Dostyk - Moyinty, where the construction of second roads began last year, construction and installation works are now actively underway. The earth bed is 70% complete, 316 km of rail-tie mesh has been built, 151 kilometers have been laid. As a result of the project implementation, the capacity of the section is expected to increase 5 times. Also last week construction and installation works on the bypass road of Almaty station started. The Darbaza-Maktaaral project is expected to start before the end of the year.

Bakhty-Ayagoz project is planned to be realized at the expense of investments, relevant decisions have been made, preparatory works for the beginning of construction have started.

"As part of the development of the mainline railway network, it is planned to build about 5,000 km of second tracks, introduce autoblocking at 2,600 km, carry out modernization at 144 stations and build 40 new points. In general, the construction of second tracks will increase the capacity of the sections up to 60 pairs of trains. Their selection was determined taking into account possible freight flows on the routes. Issues of priority of projects and sources of financing are solved jointly with sectoral state bodies and JSC "NC "Kazakhstan Temir Zholy," the Minister said. 

Discussed at the meeting and the technical condition of the locomotive fleet, which has about 1 thousand 880 units of transport. At the same time, the level of wear is 52%.

To solve the problem, 133 locomotives, mainly of domestic production, have been purchased this year. Taking into account the deficit of traction resources the issue of additional purchase of 200 more units is being considered. Carriers plan to completely eliminate the deficit of rolling stock by 2025, by which time a total of 568 locomotives will be purchased. 

The total number of freight cars in the country is 135 thousand units. More than 300 operators work in the market. The share of the national company is 38 thousand cars and they are mainly involved in socially important transportation. This is the energy sector, coal transportation for the population, etc.

Until 2025, the national operator will additionally purchase 3 thousand gondola cars, of which 275 units have been put into operation this year.

"All these measures require large capital investments. However, the tariff policy of "Kazakhstan Temir Zholy" services does not allow to form the corresponding volumes of funds. The approved rates are the lowest among neighboring countries. Besides, many types of cargoes are transported at underestimated tariffs. At the end of 10 months of the current year such transportation amounted to 88% of the total volume. Therefore, for the timely implementation of projects aimed at the development of railway infrastructure, tariff policy will be improved taking into account the interests of the country's economy," Karabayev emphasized.

The Minister believes that first of all it is necessary to change the tariff policy with regard to the export of raw materials. This will stimulate enterprises to develop deep processing of raw materials in Kazakhstan.

Passenger transportation is carried out on 66 inter-oblast routes, which serve 13 organizations. In connection with the division of regions, 2 new routes were created. To ensure affordable fare, passenger transportation is subsidized from the republican budget. According to the specialized ministry, now the average cost of a train ticket is 8 thousand tenge.

As for the fleet, it represents 2,567 passenger cars. In periods of high demand, there is a deficit of about 300 units. This year 162 cars were purchased, 76 of them were put into operation, 24 will be delivered by the end of the year. Also in the first half of the year 62 more cars will be put on the rails. The products are also mainly purchased from a domestic manufacturer from Petropavlovsk.

In general, it is planned to purchase 844 passenger cars from domestic factories until 2029. Kazakh companies intend to further increase the level of localization, bringing it to at least 35%.

"In general, the development of the industry is planned within the framework of five programs aimed at increasing the capacity of the mainline railway network, automation of train traffic, renewal of rolling stock, financial recovery of the national company "Kazakhstan Temir Zholy" and development of passenger transportation. Implementation of all these measures will fully meet the demand of domestic manufacturers, increase the volume of transit traffic up to 35 million tons and improve the service level of passenger transportation," the Minister concluded.

#Government session #Logistics #Transport

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