RUSSIA: Gazprom has announced the launch of regular rail operations on the 525 km Obskaya - Bovanenkovo line on the Yamal Peninsula, providing cost-effective and year-round access to one of the largest untapped gas reserves in the country. Work is underway on the final 47 km from Bovanenkovo to Karskaya, which is expected to open in September.
Gazprom expects the railway to carry up to 3 million tonnes of construction materials, machinery, fuel, pipes and cables a year. It will also be used to transport gas condensate.
- Elsewhere in Russia, a 53 km railway diversion was inaugurated on December 20 in an area of Perm oblast suffering from mining subsidence. Construction of the single-track electrified line between Yayva and Solikamsk took two years and was partly funded by mining firm Uralkalai to replace a route on which passenger services were suspended after flooding of a potash mine in 2006. Passenger services over the new alignment began on January 11.