The plan for the development of transport infrastructure will include projects with the biggest socio-economic effect

23 august 2018 | Kommersant

The Analytical Center has developed a procedure for selecting projects for the comprehensive development plan for the country's transport infrastructure outlined in a May Presidential Decree, writes Kommersant. As per the presidential decree the plan must be approved by October 1. It calls for the development by 2024 of transport corridors to connect the west and east of the country as well as the north and south as well as to improve the "economic relatedness" of the country's territory.

Vladislav Onishchenko
Vladislav Onishchenko

As Head of the Analytical Center Vladislav Onischenko explained to Kommersant, the worked-out methodology has already been approved at a meeting headed up by Vice Prime Minister Maxim Akimov. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Economic Development is working on a general methodology for assessing the socio-economic effects of the projects implementation; this new methodology will be exploited in transport industry but is supposed to replace the methodology of the Analytical Center.

The infrastructure development plan may include projects of two types: development projects which make direct contribution to the achievement of the goals of the Decree and result in significant changes in transport accessibility as well as life support projects, i.e. projects that must be implemented as otherwise, existing facilities would have to be shut down or mothballed; this latter category also includes socially significant projects.

In total, the transport infrastructure development plan includes 690 projects that will cost an estimated RUB 6.5 trillion to implement (with the federal budget providing RUB 3 trillion). The sample of the Analytical Center contains 324 transport infrastructure projects in aviation, road transport, rail transport, sea transport and domestic water transport. According to Mr. Onischenko, all the transport infrastructure projects proposed by the Ministry of Transport were considered and the ones that ended up on the list are priority projects that have the biggest socio-economic effect. He also noted that work to develop projects for the energy sector specified in the Presidential Decree as well, was still being carried out by the Ministry of Energy.

Projects are selected in two stages. Stage one is an express assessment to make sure the project conforms to the goals of the Degree as well as the overall quality of the project. At this stage, each project is given a score for conformance to each of the criteria. Projects that get more than half the maximum amount of points pass to the second stage of selection. There are also projects that are moved to the second stage automatically, these are life support projects that cost less than RUB 1.5 billion as well as those that do not require any federal funds.

Projects for which additional information was provided during the selection may also be analyzed as part of the second stage. In the end, projects are to be put in groups based on the ratio of the economic effect and the amount of required state support. The Russian Fund of Direct Investments and Vnesheconombank will be assessing whether external funds can be raised to finance a project.

"For some projects, we have already got investors that are interested in them, agreements of intention have been signed and negotiations are underway," Mr. Onischenko points out. He also adds that additional assessment will be carried out for the projects that do not yet have financing lined up and that it is possible that government money can be reallocated from some such projects to other ones. If no investor is ever found or some external factors should appear that prevent the project being included in the comprehensive plan, the project in question may be replaced with the project that is next on the list.

Source: Kommersant