Chelyabinsk Region announced the construction of a logistic hub for agricultural products at a railway crossing point between China and Europe. Investments are estimated with 6 billion rubles ($100 million).
The hub in Kartaly District is supposed to handle mainly grain crops harvested in South Ural and delivered by trucks. After drying, refining and storing, the products will be loaded in railway cars going back from Europe towards Beijing. With the hub, the region sees the potential to drive the wheat export to China to 1 million tons a year.
The project will be realized with Jinsha Group which is the biggest noodle producer and one of the biggest wheat consumer in China.
Yuri Babonov, head of the Russian-Chinese Center in Ural, says that Kartaly rail station is located on the shortest railway road from Beijing to Berlin, and daily seven to ten trains are passing through to Europe. On the way back, the percentage of empty cars is high. It offers the opportunity to fill them with agricultural products from Chelyabinsk region.
Before 2016, the trains had no right to stop at this station, as the 59th missile division was based here. In 2005, the missiles RS-20 Voevoda (according to the western classification SS-18 Satan) were dismantled and the silo launchers were blown up. But only in 2016 the status of Kartaly as “closed town” was lifted.