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TOKYO, January 28. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian section of the energy bridge between Sakhalin and Hokkaido prefecture in northern Japan was estimated at $5.5-6 billion, the governor of the Sakhalin Region in Russia’s Far East Alexander Khoroshavin told Itar-Tass Tuesday.
He declined to name the precise terms of construction following the recent memo about multifaceted development of bilateral relations in energy, as they depend “on various factors”, both technological and legislative ones.
The idea of an energy bridge emerged in early 2000s, but “development was suspended for a number of reasons” and revisited in August 2012. According to Khoroshavin, Japan proposed energy interaction at the time when the country had difficulty supplying electricity following the Fukushima-1 disaster and a freeze of most of its nuclear power plants.
Khoroshavin cited four factors in favor of this ambitious project: modernization and construction of generation facilities and power lines on the island of Sakhalin, electric power connection between Sakhalin and Japan in La Prouse Strait, development of the necessary grid infrastructure in Hokkaido, and construction of electrical devices on the islands of Hokkaido and Honshu.
Khoroshavin said the Sakhalin Region was keen to implement the project and would do its utmost to build the bridge.
As it was reported earlier, last spring the Sakhalin Region suggested an underwater cable in La Prouse Strait to implement the project of Asian Energy Super Ring which should unify the energy systems of Russia, Japan, Mongolia, China and South Korea. The project became more urgent after the Fukushima-1 disaster and the following proposal of electricity export from Russia to Japan.
The project is closely linked to commissioning new energy facilities on Sakhalin - the Sakhalin power plant GRES-2 and South Sakhalin thermal power plant TPP-1. At the first stage the region’s energy system will be able to export to Japan 0.5-0.6 GW, at the second and third - 2-4 GW.