Chinese contractors eye Swedish high speed rail programme
SWEDEN: A group of Chinese firms under the brand Scandinavian Bridge & Rail Consortium Company says it is keen to help Sweden accelerate the delivery of its proposed 'inverse Y' high speed network linking Stockholm with Göteborg and Malmö.
Speaking at the Nordic Rail trade show in Jönköping on October 7, Yu Xing, Chief Engineer at the International Business Department of China Railway Siyuan Survey & Design Group Co, suggested that for 'capacity and efficiency objectives' to be met, it would make sense to deliver the project 'in a single phase'. The government's current plans call for construction of an initial 150 km section for 320 km/h operation between Stockholm and Linköping known as the Ostlänken or East Link.
'We see this as an international project and we would be happy to work with local and global partners', Yu explained, adding that the SBRC consortium would seek to include local staff and develop Swedish skills should it win any work packages on the programme. 'We can deliver wider social and economic benefits', he added.
While Siyuan is a subsidiary of state-owned civils contractor CRCC, SBRC also includes rolling stock supplier CRRC. 'Chinese companies are now very experienced in working internationally, on projects in the USA, Thailand, Latin America and Indonesia to name a few', said Luming Liu, Chairman of SBRC. 'But the Swedish rail sector is very open and we see this as a promising entry point to the European market.'
He noted the importance of Hong Kong in acting as an incubator for Chinese railway equipment in demanding operating conditions with a legacy of European standards, and suggested that it was 'particularly interesting' that MTR Corp was now operating open access inter-city trains on the Stockholm - Göteborg route.
Asked about the timescales for the high speed programme, Liu said that he expected tendering to start in 2016-17 with first civil works following 'a couple of years' afterwards.