TOKYO, March 19. /ITAR-TASS/. The technological solution for an energy bridge to link the Russian far-eastern Sakhalin Island and Japan is ready, the president of the Russian oil giant Rosneft Igor Sechin told the sixth Russian-Japanese investment forum that opened in Tokyo on Wednesday.
“There is a technological solution for the issue. Laying an underwater cable is affordable technology,” said Sechin. “The distance between Sakhalin and Hokkaido is just 40 kilometers.”
Conditions allowed to create a strong and reliable “electricity generation cluster for sustainable electricity supplies to Japan’s regions in need”, he added.
“Any corporate rules can be regulated,” added Sechin. “They can be tailored to protect Japanese customers’ interests as reliably as possible.” Japan can “count on a considerable increase of hydrocarbon and electricity supplies”, said Sechin.
The energy bridge in question was first brought up during the discussion of the Asian Super Ring project proposed by RAO UES of Russia company in 1998-2000.
Russian Minister of Energy Alexander Novak described the bridge as a large-scale, promising and very significant project for both countries in an interview with Itar-Tass in February. Electricity export to the Asian Pacific was now increasing - last year China imported about 3.5 billion kWh, against 2.63 billion kWh in 2012. Negotiations about the construction of a direct current line to Japan were underway. Inter RAO and RusHydro are to implement the project on the Russian side.
Yet there were no deals with Japanese companies so far, Novak added. Until recently the Japanese law did not suggest any electricity imports but in bilateral talks last year Japan confirmed amendments were possible.