MOSCOW Nov 6 Russia's Basic Element (BasEl),
the conglomerate of billionaire Oleg Deripaska, has won a tender
to build a 34.5 billion rouble ($1.28 billion) railroad in the
far eastern republic of Yakutia, the company said on Thursday.
When completed in 2013, the 400-kilometre state-funded line
will allow access to natural resources in the region such as
coal, diamonds and natural gas.
Of the dozens of projects in Russia's $1 trillion plan to
develop its infrastructure over the next 10 years, this has been
among the first to go forward since the onset of the global
Last month, a consortium led by French construction company
Vinci (SGEF.PA) won a tender to build the first leg of a
motorway from Moscow to St. Petersburg, signalling that Russia
is still committed to renewing its infrastructure despite the
State monopoly Russian Railways will provide 4 billion
roubles of funding for the link from the towns of Tommot to
Yakutsk, while the rest will come from federal and regional
budgets, said Irina Kotenko, spokeswoman for the Basic Element
unit handling the construction.
Russia has earmarked a total of 350 billion roubles for the
development of Yakutia, a resource rich but largely barren
region roughly five times the size of France.
"This road is vitally important for the economy of the
republic, for its industries and its citizens," the republic's
president, Vyacheslav Styrov, said in a statement.
(Reporting by Simon Shuster; Editing by David Cowell)