China is set to invest in the development of port infrastructure in Russia’s Far East, as Russian Pacific harbours may be instrumental in transporting bulk cargoes from China’s landlocked northeastern regions to southern China.
Thus, Hebei Port Group (HPG) is considering a project to build a grain terminal on the Russian Pacific coast, which will become part of the grain supply chain from Heilongjiang to southern provinces, estimated at 6 to 10 Mtpa.
According to Aleksey Starchikov, director of the international cooperation department of Russia’s Primorsky Territory, local authorities have offered HPG several options – to find a land plot and develop its own greenfield project, to join a port development project that is currently underway, or to invest into the existing harbour.
HPG will reportedly examine all the variants, with special emphasis on the Russian ports of Vladivostok and Vostochny.
In July this year, China and Russia signed a Memorandum of Cooperation to develop two international transport corridors, Primorye-1 and Primorye-2, as well as the associated transport infrastructure, including railways, highways, ports, airports, border-crossing points and communication systems.
The Primorye-1 route aims to link the city of Harbin in north-eastern China with the Russian harbours of Vladivostok, Nakhodka/Vostochny by rail via the border stations at Grodekovo in Russia and Suifenhe in China. The route is expected to encourage trade and investment in Russia’s Far East, as well as attracting Heilongjiang-based businesses, as its length from Chinese shipping centres to the Russian Pacific ports is about 500 km, whereas an alternative route to the nearest Chinese harbour of Dalian is about 1,300 km.
The Primorye-2 corridor runs further south, closer to the Russian border with North Korea, and links Hunchun with the Russian ports of Posyet and Zarubino.
Therefore, the grain terminal project is in line with the planned development of the international transport corridors, which would be able to transport more than 100 Mtpa of dry bulk cargoes.