Tavan Tolgoi-Gashuunsukhait railway to be ready by next year
- By Dulguun Bayarsaikhan -
- May 12,2021
The government is keen to complete new railroads connecting Tavan Tolgoi mine to both Gashuunsukhait border checkpoint and Zuunbayan in Dornogovi Province.
Some 46 companies and the Construction Unit of the Mongolian Armed Forces are building the railway.
The government is striving to put the Tavan Tolgoi-Gashuunsukhait railroad into operation by July 2022 as the new track would enable Mongolia to considerably ramp up its mineral and cargo exports. In particular, coal export is expected to increase fourfold to 30 million to 50 million tons a year, production at the Tavan Tolgoi mine is estimated to rise two to three times, creating around 2,000 full-time jobs. The extensive railway track will also reduce harmful environment impacts by protecting pastures, mitigating dust emissions, decrease air and soil pollutions, and reduce noise in the surrounding area, says experts. Some estimates indicate that once the new railway is put to use, up to 28 million USD will be charged in taxes annually from transportation.
Earthworks of the railway construction are at 81 percent completion, while the assembling of upper infrastructure is progressing at 67 percent. Out of the 233-kilometer-long track planned, 201 kilometers have been built, according to contractors.
On the other hand, the Tavan Tolgoi-Zuunbayan track, connecting the south to eastern routes, will stretch for 416.2 kilometers and have one station and six crossings. This railroad will also boost coking coal export, facilitate transportation of mining and other industrial products, and support regional social and economic developments.
“The government is taking all necessary measures to ensure that these strategically important railways are put into operation on time. Due to politicization and divisions, these railway development haven’t been completed for 12 years. This has cost Mongolia a lot of revenue and opportunities. This cannot continue,” Prime Minister L.Oyun-Erdene stated during his visit to the project site last week.
He promised to provide necessary funding for the Tavan Tolgoi-Zuunbayan railway project in stages.