BELARUS: Construction of the third metro line in Minsk started on March 19. The 17·2 km north-south line would be built in two phases. The first is due to open in 2017 and will run from Yubileynaya Ploshchad to Kovalskaya Sloboda with four stations. Vokzalnaya station would be connected to Ploshchad Lenina on the Moskovskaya Line with moving walkways.

The second phase would extend the line to Nemorshansky Sad with an intermediate station at Ayerodromnaya, to open in 2020.

The construction contractor is Minskmetrostroy. Vinci Group subsidiary CSM Bessac will supply a tunnel-boring machine under a €11·5m contract.

The total cost is expected to be 1·8tr roubles at 2006 prices, and ridership is predicted to be 700 000 passengers per day. The Development Bank of the Republic of Belarus is to lend 450bn rubles. The 15-year loan will carry an annual interest rate of 7·5%

  • Metrowagonmash is to supply three trainsets to the Minsk metro, which will be built in its Mytishchi factory.