China Lends US$3.3 Billion to Rail Construction in Horn of Africa

The Chinese government has agreed to provide US$3.3 billion in financing to the Ethio-Djibouti Railway project in the Horn of Africa.


Officials from the Export-Import Bank of China will travel to the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa in early May to put the finishing touches on the agreement between the finance ministers of China and Ethiopia.


The $3.3 billion loan will be used to construct a 752.7-kilometre railway between Sebeta, situated in central Ethiopia, to Negad Port in the Republic of Djibouti.


The project will be constructed in three phases, of which two of will take place on the Ethiopian side of the border with the third in Djibouti.


Chinese construction companies will be extensively involved in the project with the China Railway Engineering Corporation responsible for construction of the segment of railway line between Addis Ababa and Meiso, and the China Civil Engineering Corporation entrusted with building the Meiso-Dawalleh route.


The huge loan is part of increased efforts by China to provide financial support to emerging economies in Africa and other parts of the world in exchange for access to resources and commodities needed to fuel its own burgeoning growth.


In March, the China Development Bank, China’s largest foreign investment and financing bank, executed an agreement with South African freight rail company Transnet to provide $5 billion in infrastructure funding.


The China Development Bank has provided a total of $16 billion in financing to over 30 African nations.


The Chinese government has further stated that it will provide an additional $20 billion in loans over the next three years to support the development of Africa’s infrastructure, agriculture and manufacturing sectors.


Ethio-Djibouti Railways, jointly owned by the governments of Ethiopia and Djibouti, has struggled in recent years, running annual deficits which have compelled it to seek financial assistance from international lenders.


In 2009 it was reported that no passenger service had been provided between Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa, the country’s second largest city, while services between Djibouti and Dire Dawa were suspended completely in August 2010.






Beijing opens metro Line 14

THE first phase of Beijing Metro Line 14 opened on May 5 with the start of commercial services on the 12.4km section from an interchange with Line 10 at Xiju to Zhanggouzhuang in the southwestern district of Fengtai.


The new line is operated by Beijing MTR Corporation, a joint venture between MTR Corporation, Beijing Capital Group, and Beijing Infrastructure Investment Corporation which already runs Line 4 and the Daxing Line.


The initial phase has seven stations, including Garden Expo Park (pictured), which will serve the 9th China International Garden Expo due to start on May 18.


Civil works began in 2010 and the line was built by Beijing Infrastructure Investment Corporation. Beijing MTR is responsible for electrical and mechanical systems as well as rolling stock under a PPP concession signed last November, which includes a 30-year operating term. This contract is worth around Yuan 15bn ($US 2.4bn), about 30% of the total cost of the project.


When it is completed in 2016, Line 14 will stretch for 47.3km along the southern edge of Beijing with 37 stations, linking Zhanggouzhuang in the west with Shangezhuang in the eastern district of Chaoyang.







China Railway to issue bonds for funding

China Railway Corp may soon issue its first batch of bonds after it was founded in March, as railway construction across the country slowed down due to inadequate funds, 21st Century Business Herald reported.


“This year’s quota for China Railway in railway construction bonds is 150 billion yuan, the same as last year,” said an anonymous source. “And the company has already registered medium term notes worth 60 billion yuan, which will be issued soon.”


The State-owned giant has taken over the business operations of the defunct Ministry of Railways (MOR). According to its Q1 financial report, it borrowed 100.9 billion yuan in the first quarter, accounting for two-thirds of its investment funds and among which 80.9 billion yuan are bank loans. Based on bank loan figures last year and this year’s budget, the company may have used 40 percent of the bank loan quota for the whole year. If it is not the loans, the cash flow will collapse in no time.


China Railway reported total losses of 7 billion yuan at the end of the first quarter, and the prospect for the next quarter is gloomy due to a downturn in the coal industry and the continuing macro economic recession.


Rail transport of cargo has been badly hit by shrinking demands on coal, said professor Hu Siji from Beijing Jiaotong University. For China Railway, revenue decreases, but the spending cannot be avoided.


According to the Ministry of Railways, China will invest 650 billion yuan in fixed assets in 2013, most of which are follow-up funds for construction of projects nationwide. But the tight supply of money is hindering the progress of construction.


“The company has too many projects going, and they all need money, and now it’s the second month of the second quarter, but the company has not taken any financing measures,” an insider said. “If we don’t issue the bonds immediately, cash flow will soon be depleted.”






DHL with Fast Rail Connection between China’s Megacities and Europe

-Multimodal solution reduces CO2 emissions by up to 90 percent and cuts costs


-Door-to-door lead times decreased by up to 21 days


-Industry’s first ‘point in time transportation’ on the trans-Siberian route


DHL Global Forwarding, Freight, the air and sea freight specialist within Deutsche Post DHL and a leading provider of overland freight services in Europe, has extended its route offerings between Asia and Europe for intermodal shipments. The new service now offers two routes that combine rail and road transportation: daily shipments from Shanghai via the trans-Siberian route in the North and a weekly departure from Chengdu through China’s West Corridor rail line. Customers will benefit from lower transportation costs, reduced door-to-door lead times of up to 21 days compared to ocean freight, and reduced CO2 emissions.


“As a flexible solution, this service offers the option of booking variable capacity – ranging from a single container to a whole train. At the same time, it connects seamlessly with both our groupage network in Europe and DHL Global Forwarding, Freight’s Asian network, including markets such as Japan and Korea,” explains Amadou Diallo, CEO DHL Freight.


On the trans-Siberian route to and from Shanghai, DHL is first in the industry to offer customers the option of booking the transport capacity they require at a particular point in time. In addition, the multimodal solution reduces CO2 emissions by up to 90 percent compared to air freight. For the most part, overland transportation between Shanghai and the EU border at Małaszewicze (Poland) will be carried out by rail, with last-mile transportation by road.


The second route is optimized for Chengdu-based customers and offers lower transit times of up to eight days compared to the trans-Siberian route and greater cost reduction. It has been launched to meet the rising demand in China, particularly in the economic vibrant region of Chengdu. DHL’s once-a-week service departs every Friday to Małaszewicze along China’s West Corridor rail line through Kazakhstan.


The increased volumes moved each year on DHL’s Asia- or Europe-bound services is further proof of DHL’s commitment to providing its customers with cost-effective, environmentally friendly solutions – with increasing global coverage. In addition, it will make a contribution toward achieving the climate protection target which Deutsche Post DHL has set itself: to improve the CO2 efficiency of its own operations and those of its transportation subcontractors by 30 percent by 2020.





Intermodal China 2013 to be Held in September

SHANGHAI, May 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Intermodal China 2013 - Shippers' Summit will be held at the Hyatt on the Bund, Shanghai, China from September 24 to 25, 2013. The conference will attract over 500 leading companies in the field of logistics sector including ports, shipping companies, rail transportation companies, highway transportation companies, cargo shippers and freight forwarders, and more. 40 percent of the attendees are cargo shippers from various industries including chemicals, electronics, FMCG, auto, construction and others.


The Summit will be composed of 3 sections – China Policy on Logistics & Intermodal Transport; The Optimization of Intermodal Supply Chain; and the Global Market for Intermodal Transport. Government officials from China railways, customs, and other professional institutes will be invited to present policy analysis on China's rail reform, China customs system & development, as well as the planning of sea-rail transport. With the rapid development of China's foreign trade, cargo shippers are looking for new and innovative transport services and solutions. During the two high-impact days of networking, logistics and cargo transport suppliers from Central Asia, Africa, Russia, South America, Europe, the U.S., and more will meet Chinese shippers and carriers for business partnerships.






China Northern enters the EU wagon market

CNR JINAN: The first production vehicles from a batch of 40 Type Zags LPG and ammonia tank wagons being built for French leasing company Atir-Rail was rolled out by CNR Jinan on April 28.


CNR Jinan said the delivery of wagons to an EU customer was of 'epoch-making significance' for China's railway equipment industry. The June 2011 contract for 40 wagons is thought to be the first European order for Chinese wagons since vehicles supplied to Albania in the 1960s.


As CNR Jinan is new to the EU market, an European company was appointed to certify that design and production of the prototype vehicles complied with the 'extremely demanding' French and UIC standards for the transport of hazardous goods on the European rail network.





Egyptian National Railways seeks China cooperation to purchase 700 train cars for $570m


Hassan Zakaria, the president of Egyptian National Railways (ENR), along with a number of officials from Egypt’s Transportation Ministry, conducted an unexpected visit to China at the beginning of last week, meeting with officials from the company SRN to discuss plans for the latter to purchase 700 railway cars at an estimated cost of $570m.


A source from within ENR stated that Zakaria received a surprise invitation from the Chinese company to discuss further cooperation between the two sides, adding that the meeting began last Sunday, lasting seven days and ending on Sunday 12 May.


The source added that he did not expect the negotiations to end positively, as the Egyptian side had largely lost confidence in the quality of Chinese-made products, despite attempts made by the latter to meet the demands of their Egyptian partners. He added that the Egyptian side could not turn down the meeting due to the strong political ties between the two countries.


Hatim Abd al-Latif, Egypt’s Transportation Minister, emphasised that the Ministry had already sought to purchase 700 railway cars from China as part of its plan to further develop the Abu Qir and Suez rail lines.


India rail minister quits amid bribery claims

India's railway minister, Pawan Kumar Bansal, has resigned, according to two Indian television channels - though a government spokesperson said the resignation could not be confirmed.


If the reports are correct, Bansal's resignation on Friday would deal a fresh blow to the scandal-hit government as regional elections loom.


The news comes just days after police arrested Bansal's nephew for allegedly accepting a R9 million ($165,000) bribe for the promotion of an official to a plum job on the national railway board.


Officials in Bansal's ruling Congress party had earlier said the case made the minister's position untenable and that his resignation was inevitable.


"It would be embarrassing for the party if he were to be quizzed," a party leader told The Times of India.


Bansal reportedly did not attend Thursday's cabinet meeting, fuelling media speculation that he was on his way out.


Law minister Ashwani Kumar is also facing allegations that he altered a report drafted by India's Central Bureau of Investigation into the "coalgate" scam - a corruption scandal concerning the government's allocation of coal deposits between public sector entities and private corporations.


Opposition demands for the resignation of Bansal and Kumar had paralysed parliament and forced officials to cut a budget session short by two days - dashing hopes of passing more economic reforms and a vote-winning plan to give cheap food to 70 percent of the population.


The Indian rupee posted its biggest single-day fall in four months on Friday, believed to have been caused by the US dollar's strength against global currencies and demand from oil and gold importers offsetting gains in domestic shares.


The drop led the currency to post its biggest weekly fall in the past six months.







India issues RFQ for electric loco plant

FOLLOWING hot on the heels of a request for qualification (RFQ) to build a new diesel locomotive plant at Marhowra in Bihar province, India's Ministry of Railways has issued an RFQ for an electric locomotive factory at Madhepura, also situated in Bihar.


The winning supplier will be expected to produce 800 8.95MW twin Bo-Bo locomotives over 11 years while undertaking maintenance of a specified number of electric locomotives at the facility. The ministry plans to pre-qualify and shortlist suitable applicants who have up to 11.00 on June 20 to submit bids.


General Electric, Alstom, Bombardier and Siemens were shortlisted for a previous contract to build an electric locomotive plant at Madhepura which broke down in 2009 after Indian Railways attempted to alter the terms of the bidding documents. The new electric and diesel locomotive plants are considered an essential element of Indian Railways plans to update much of its life-expired rolling stock.







VTG and Kuehne & Nagel plan rail logistics JV

LOGISTICS group Kuehne & Nagel and wagon leasing company VTG have announced plans to create a jointly-owned rail logistics business after signing a letter of intent at the end of April.


The venture represents an expansion of the existing Hamburg-based Transpetrol company, which is jointly owned by the two companies, into new business areas.


The partners say the new joint venture would expand their present rail logistics activities, enabling the growth of VTG's Rail Logistics unit and allowing Kuehne & Nagel to offer customers an extended range of services in the industrial, agricultural and petrochemical sectors.


The joint company will cover all of Europe well as Russia and Turkey.


Final contracts will be agreed later this year, subject to the approval of the relevant corporate bodies and competition authorities. It is anticipated by both companies that VTG will have a majority shareholding in the new venture; currently VTG owns 74.9% of Transpetrol while Kuehne & Nagel holds the remaining 25.1%.






Singapore launches Thomson Line train tender

SINGAPORE's Land Transport Authority has invited bids by August 29 for 53 four-car trains for the new Thomson Line, the first section of which is due to open in 2019. The winner will be required to design, manufacture, test and commission the trains as well as put them into service.


Construction of the 30km north-south Thomson Line is due to start in stages from the third quarter of this year. The initial three-station section will open in the north of Singapore between Woodlands North and Woodlands South with an interchange with the existing North South Line at Woodlands. The line will be extended south to Caldicot in 2020 where it will connect with the Circle Line. Completion of the line via Orchard, Outram Park, and Marina Bay to Gardens by the Bay is scheduled for 2021.


The Thomson Line will have 22 stations in total, of which six will provide an interchange with other metro lines, and it is expected to carry 400,000 passengers a day.









Bulgaria opens rebuilt rail link with Turkey

BULGARIA's interim prime minister Mr Marin Raykov and transport minister Mr Kristiyan Krastev today inaugurated the country's reconstructed rail link with Turkey, travelling over the 16.9km line from Svilengrad to the border near the village of Kapitan Andreevo.


The electrified single-track line is designed for 160km/h operation and includes a new 433m-long bridge across the Maritsa River (pictured) at Svilengrad. The line was designed and built by Czech contractor OHL ZS under a Lev 70m ($US 47m) contract signed with National Railway Infrastructure Company (NRIC) in May 2009, while a consortium of Alcatel-Lucent and Thales was responsible for signalling and telecommunications. The line is electrified at 25kV ac 50Hz and is equipped with ETCS Level 1.


The railway is the first Bulgarian project to be completed under the European Union's Operational Programme on Transport 2007-13, which contributed Lev 46.6m in cohesion funding towards the Lev 85.8m project. The remainder of the project was financed by the Bulgarian government through NRIC.


The opening of the line marks the completion of the third phase of the upgrading and electrification of the 154km Plovdiv – Dimitrovgrad – Kapikule (Turkish border) route, which forms part of European Corridor 10 Branch C (Niš – Sofia – Plovdiv – Edirne – Istanbul). The fourth and final phase covers the 67.2km section between Dimitrovgrad and Svilengrad.


On the Turkish side of the border, the line between Kapikule and Istanbul is expected to close this summer for reconstruction, and freight operators are currently looking at options for alternative terminals.








Jakarta faces lengthy wait for metro fix to gridlock

Ajeng Dewanti wakes up every weekday before sunrise, squeezes into an overcrowded car, and spends the next two hours making the 17-kilometre journey through the Jakarta gridlock to her work.


The tortuous slog in slow-moving cars and on motorbikes in the oppressively hot, smog-choked Indonesian capital is common for commuters, many of whom long ago abandoned an inadequate network of crowded buses and trains.


"I spend a good deal of my life on the road," said Dewanti, 30, who travels with other commuters in a private car that has been converted into a makeshift taxi to reach her work.


But hopes are now high the perennial traffic chaos could be eased after one of Asia's last major cities without a metro set out clear plans to build one, after more than 20 years of discussing the idea.


Officials on Thursday revealed the two consortia of Japanese and Indonesian firms who will build the first section of the network, a key step before building starts this year.


Shimizu-Obayashi-Jaya Konstruksi and Sumitomo-Mitsui-Hutama Karya will build an underground section from a rich southern suburb to the landmark Hotel Indonesia roundabout in the heart of Jakarta.


The six-kilometre stretch is part of one line, which Jakarta's new governor, Joko Widodo, says will be completed in 2017, decades after other cities such as Singapore and Manila inaugurated their metros.


The Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system will eventually stretch over 110 kilometres in the city, whose metropolitan area has a population of 27 million, and will have both overground and underground sections.


But Jakarta still faces a lengthy wait as officials don't expect the whole system to be finished until the mid-2020s.


The MRT was first mooted more than 20 years ago, but in a graft-ridden country with a notoriously inept bureaucracy, the central and city governments only managed to agree this year on how to share the funding for the project.


Pressure had been mounting for officials to finally move the project forward following repeated warnings about the damage the traffic chaos was doing to Southeast Asia's top economy.


The chronic jams cause losses of 17.2 trillion rupiah (HK$13.7 billion) a year, according to official figures that take into account working hours lost, fuel wasted and health care costs for illnesses caused by noxious exhaust fumes.


And the situation has only worsened as Indonesia's economy booms, clocking up annual growth of more than six per cent in recent years, and hundreds of new cars and motorbikes flood onto the ageing road network every day.


A row of concrete columns with rusty metal protruding from the top in south Jakarta are all that was ever built of a monorail, halted soon after building started in 2004 as funding dried up.


Widodo also wants to revive that project, although it is much smaller than the metro.


"Like it or not, people will be forced to use public transport," he said.






Technical support:| Contribute| Custom
Address: 1-1210 Chengnandadao Plaza, Gongyixi Bridge, Fengtai District, Beijing China Postalcode:10006
Tel:86-10-51662621/22 Fax:86-10-88583069     【京ICP备13032135号】  【京公网安备11010602004570号】