According to the instruction made by the Ministry of Roads, Transport, Construction and Urban Development, Authority of Auto transportation suspended coal transportation between Tavan Tolgoi and Tsagaan Khad starting from April 27 2011. Mr. S.Batbold, senior inspector and head of the monitoring and control department of the Authority of Auto Transportation, an implementing agency of the Mongolian Government gave an interview to media representatives. Last week, he worked on the site and reviewed the road fixing and maintenance works.
Q: What is the real situation at Tavan Tolgoi coal transport road?
S.Batbold: As you may have known that coal transportation was to be shut until the appropriate road is built, but in fact transport was suspended until soil road is fixed. Energy Resource company made request to review its fixed road condition. According to the request, representatives from related ministries, agencies and local administrative units reviewed the road fixing condition and completion of 245 km long road from Tavan Tolgoi to Gashuun Sukhait. The total cost of the fixing was $4.6 million and 25% of it was covered by Energy Resource and the rest was funded by the Association of Coal Exporters. Unfortunately, the work was not at the satisfactory level and further three requirements were made by the inspection committee. Upon completion of this requirement, the work will be reviewed again and after the inspection, it will be discussed.
Q: What are these three requirements?
S.Batbold: First, the road has become narrow in two places, leaving not enough space for intersection. Therefore, these two areas shall be widened. Second, there are three steep turns, which are needed to be changed, because coal transporting vehicles are long. Third, road signs are required to be installed in appropriate to the road condition.
Q: You mentioned about Energy Resource and its funding for the road fixing. What about to local Tavan Tolgoi Company?
S.Batbold: Local Tavan Tolgoi Company didn’t involve in the road fixing operation. Energy Resource fixed the road of 25 kms, where it solely carries out transportation. Local Tavan Tolgoi Company’s transportation will be suspended further, if ER fulfills the three requirements, then its coal transportation (1770 vehicles of 14 companies) will be allowed.
Q: How long will it take to fulfill the requirements?
S.Batbold: We provided the requirements on last Saturday. ER agreed with the requirements and deployed its road maintenance team that evening. I think it can achieve the target within one week. After the completion of works, we will review again and propose to the discussion. Paved road will be completed by August, but I see that there is still lots of works unfinished.