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MOSCOW, September 9 (Itar-Tass) —— On Thursday, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin arrived on the Russky Island, which will host an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in 2012. He arrived in the region to launch the Sakhalin-Khabarovsk-Vladivostok gas pipeline.
“A gas pipeline was laid to the region from Sakhalin,” the Rossiiskaya Gazeta quoted Putin as saying. “This is a really serious event, I mean that there was never this gas source here,” Putin said. Thanks to this project the APEC summit sites will be provided with gas supplies. Russia joined APEC in 1998, and it was not accidental, because in 2012, when the country will take over the presidency in this organization, the Far East will host an APEC summit.
Some 205 billion roubles were allocated from the federal budget for the development of Vladivostok as the centre of economic cooperation in the Asia-Pacific Region, Putin recalled. The allocations were made for a drastic modernization of infrastructure. By the way, Siberia and the Far East play a special role in the integration projects in the Asia-Pacific Region, mainly in the energy and transport industries and can serve as “a land bridge” with Europe.
The trade between Asia and Europe makes about 600 billion dollars annually and Russia accounts for less than one percent. Though, according to experts, Russia could have taken 10-15% of the market, Rossiiskaya Gazeta notes. To this end it is needed at least to broaden “narrow channels” on the ways to the ports (their length makes about 4,500 kilometers) and to modernize the railway infrastructure. One more major project – the construction of a new gas pipeline from Yakutia – will be launched next year.
The Sakhalin-Khabarovsk-Vladivostok gas pipeline is 1,350 kilometers long and with the throughput capacity of six billion cubic meters of gas annually, Nezavisimaya Gazeta reports. The gas pipeline was built for a record period of time of two years to be in time for the APEC summit. The premier noted the importance of the project, which has the same role as Nord Stream that will increase the gas production in East Siberia and the Far East and will promote Russia on new markets in the countries in the Asia-Pacific Region.
Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller apparently hasted to invite the prime minister to Vladivostok, calling the commissioning of the inter-rural section of the gas pipeline filled with gas from the gas tanks as the launch of the whole pipeline, the newspaper writes. The blue fuel will hardly appear soon in the territory. The construction of the Sakhalin-Khabarovsk-Vladivostok gas pipeline as well as the launch of the first gas-fuelled boilers in the second city thermal power station is scheduled to be complete only in the fourth quarter of 2011. Required facilities were not commissioned on the Russky Island for the gas delivery yet. The gas price is unclear yet for the Primorsky Territory, as the Federal Tariff and Duties Service was to discuss this issue before Putin’s visit, but postponed it to September 13.