Russian Railways Construction Project for Kaluga Special Economic Zone Railway Receives IRIIS Certification
The completed project to build a railway to the Kaluga special economic zone under a concession agreement between Russian Railways and the Kaluga Region Government has received certification as compliant with the IRIIS requirements.
An official ceremony took place on 6 December 2021 as part of the IRIIS Final Session on Pursuing Quality and Sustainable Infrastructure to mark the awarded certification.
The project was verified by the Analytical Credit Rating Agency (ACRA); Expert RA; and the Russian Center for Competences and Analysis of OECD Standards (Russia-OECD Center RANEPA).
Svetlana Yachevskaya, Deputy Chairperson and Member of the Management Board, VEB.RF:
“We started testing the system on real infrastructural projects early this year and we have already finished assessing three transport projects. The Russian Railways project in the Kaluga Region is the second pilot awarded IRIIS certification. The verification process involved leading expert organisations: rating agencies and consulting companies. It’s particularly important to build up a portfolio of projects for quality infrastructure investment, taking account of Russia’s goals of creating new, modern infrastructure.”
Vadim Mikhaylov, First Deputy Managing Director, Russian Railways:
“The fact that we gained IRIIS certification is another step for the company towards quality and sustainable infrastructure projects for railways. We have already completed the railway and are in the process of preparing it for operation. Independently verified compliance with international standards gives us an indication that the project is successful.”
Mikhail Sukhov, CEO, ACRA:
“ACRA participated in verification related to the Environment and Climate aspect of IRIIS for the Russian Railways infrastructural project of the Kaluga special economic zone. Our participation is aimed at continuing to improve the methodology, collaborating with VEB.RF in advisory and methodological work, and adapting the IRIIS verification procedure to conform to Russian standards.
“The pilot projects allowed the ACRA team in cooperation with VEB.RF to successfully complete verification for all the three aspects of the IRIIS methodology for infrastructure project assessment: Economy and Governance, Quality of Life, Environment and Climate. The ACRA sustainability risk assessment team is made up of the best ESG assessment experts and fully competent in the use of the IRIIS system. We hope our contribution to IRIIS improvement will help to extend this procedure to more infrastructural projects to enhance their quality and compliance with the principles of sustainable development. We would like to particularly note the well-coordinated efforts of VEB.RF and the National PPP Development Center. They not only developed a high-quality analytical product that is now available for other projects in Russia, but also were active in helping us to communicate with the project initiator, Russian Railways.”
Pavel Seleznev, General Director, National PPP Development Center (part of the VEB.RF Group):
“The Russian Railways project shows that major companies are very much interested in making their new infrastructure more efficient without negative impacts on the environment or human life. Judging by the certification of three projects, we are confident about the future of IRIIS as a good tool for the market. To make the certification process more convenient, we used the ROSINFRA platform to launch an online module that enables users to submit an application, communicate with verifiers and assess their own projects.”
The IRIIS system is based on international best practices in independent infrastructure sustainability assessment, such as rating schemes currently used in the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom and other countries. The system is designed to bring into practical use the Principles for Quality Infrastructure Investment and the Sustainable Development Goals.
The development and public discussion of IRIIS gave due consideration to proposals from a wide range of both foreign and Russian experts.
Egyptian-Based Russian Industrial Area Showcased by VEB.RF and REC at Expo 2020 Dubai
The VEB.RF Group’s delegation made a presentation about the Russian industrial area (RIA) in Egypt at Expo 2020 Dubai today. Supervised by the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade, the project is to offer a unique opportunity for Russian companies to enter the Arab and African markets. According to Daniil Algulyan, Deputy Chairman of the Management Board, VEB.RF, construction in the RIA is scheduled to begin as early as May 2022. The RIA is situated at the town of Ain Sokhna near the Suez Canal.
“The Russian industrial area in Egypt is basically a public-private partnership project,” Daniil Algulyan said. “Our countries work together to help businesses to set up their projects. The RIA is designed to make it easier for Russian companies to adapt themselves to the local environment during their entry into the Middle Eastern and North African markets.”
The 50-hectare site is only a few hundreds of metres from the Red Sea. The RIA is located near a railway that can be used to transport feedstock and finished products, a desalination plant and a power station. The RIA will potentially be expanded to 525 hectares; the second site will be built at Port Said. The two sites are to operate on the same conditions.
RIA residents will be able to repatriate 100% of their profits, have 100% shareholdings in their businesses, and import duty-free components, materials and parts for use within the Russian industrial area. In the case of products exported from the RIA to the other territories of Egypt, they will be exempt from tax with the exception of assemblies and components manufactured abroad. Russia will build on-site accommodation for RIA residents. They will also be provided with access to a full range of products offered by development institutions: loans from EXIMBANK OF RUSSIA, insurance plans from EXIAR, performance bonds from VEB.RF etc.
“Russia and Egypt are equally interested in this form of cooperation. The ongoing project is a win-win for everyone,” added Veronika Nikishina, CEO, Russian Export Center (REC, part of the VEB.RF Group). “This will be good for both Russia and Egypt as well as for countries across the region because products will be cheaper and more affordable. This will promote foreign investment in the region, create new jobs and develop infrastructure around the Suez Canal transit route. The RIA brings added impetus to Russia’s economic ties with Egypt, and we’ll be able to see qualitative changes in trade between the two countries.”