A conference in Yakutsk was hosted by Yegor Borisov the Governor and the Bering Strait tunnel project was ratified by President Medvedev’s top officials including Aleksander Levinthal the deputy federal representative for the Russian far East.
Experts forecast that the completed service could carry 3% of the world’s freight and earn £7 billion GBP per year. Engineers have said the project could reach break-even in seven years. A 500 mile, £900m GBP link from the Trans-Siberian railway to Yakutsk is already in construction and will be completed in 2013, nudging towards the Russian goal of a further 2360 miles by 2030.
Some in Russia want it so that Siberia can be developed. Others in Russia think that it would make more sense to develop transportation connections and pipelines to China. The United States has no awareness of it. There is some railwork on the Russia side by it would take to 2030 for the rail to get to the Russian tip of Siberia. So it would be 5-10 years before any tunnel would need to start and for the US and Canada to get on board with developing the North American side.
It is ambitious plan to build the world’s longest tunnel under the Bering Strait as part of a transport corridor linking Europe and America via Siberia and Alaska.
The 64-mile (103km) tunnel would connect the far east of Russia with Alaska, opening up the prospect of the ultimate rail trip across three quarters of the globe from London to New York. The link would be twice as long as the Channel Tunnel connecting Britain and France.
It would create a high-speed railway line, energy links and a fibreoptic cable network.
It would also enable two giant hydro plants to be built to supply tens of giga-watts of electricity by 2020 and have some market to supply.
However, all of the links seem to make more sense to supply China which has larger growing energy demand.
Russia is expected to export 15m tonnes of oil through a recently opened pipeline to China each year during the next two decades – about 300,000 barrels a day.
The pipeline, running between Siberia and the northeastern Chinese city of Daqing, will allow a rapid increase in oil exports between the two countries.
The project cost $25bn (£16bn) and was partly financed by Chinese loans.
A second stage of construction on the pipeline is due to be finished by 2014. It will then span a distance of about 4,700 kms (2,900 miles).
Russia needs to have more than just China as a customer and is developing improved transporation links for supplying Japan and other countries. If they could also supply the US then there would be more bidders for the oil, gas and electricity and better prices. The Russian motivations and desires are clear.
There can be a $24 per barrel price difference between land locked oil supply and coastal supplies of energy because of fewer customers (this differential is seen for supplies inside the US Cushing, Oklahoma versus Gulf pricing).