Despite decades of misbehavior and crippling economic sanctions, North Korea is not completely isolated internationally. Both China and Russia still maintain a trade relationship with the rogue nation, and fellow rogue state Russia has apparently decided to increase its economic cooperation with Pyongyang.
According to Wind Power Monthly, RAO Energy System East, the largest supplier of electricity and heating in the Russia’s Far East, is planning to build four wind farms totaling 40 megawatts on both sides of the Russian-North Korean border.
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WPM reported in an article on Monday that two wind farms will be built in the Russian Primorye region, just north of the border with North Korea, as well as two additional farms inside North Korea in the Rason trade and economic zone. The information was attributed to Alex Kaplun, RAO’s deputy head of department of strategy and investments.
Details on Russia – North Korea wind farm project
The WPM report highlights that a feasibility study for the wind farm project is being conducted this summer. Assuming the aggressive schedule is met, the arms are anticipated to be officially commissioned and generating electricity in 2016 or 2017.
Kaplun specifically noted that all of the energy generated by the wind farms will be supplied to North Korea. RAO is also evaluating the possibility of energy exports to South Korea and Japan in the more distant future.
Energy industry analysts highlight that this will be the first time that electric power will be regularly exported from Russia to North Korea.
Anatoly Kopylov, the chief of the supervisory board of the Russian Wind Energy Association, also commented that the investment in the project is likely to be in the range of $55-62 million.
Russia interfering in Western sanctions again
Russia continues to be a thorn in the side of Western powers as the aggressive, rogue nation has chosen once again to interfere in a country in opposition to the goals of the international community. Diplomats across the globe are watching the current developments in Pyongyang-Moscow relations, and are worried that the cooperation is undermining long term international efforts to persuade North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons.
The impoverished North Korean regime is in desperate straits and direly needs assistance to shore up its economy and maintain public support for the country’s young but exceptionally brutal and duplicitous leader. Political analysts note that given the break down in Pyongyang’s relationship with South Korea and China, the main providers of economic aid to the country for years, pragmatic North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has apparently turned to Russia.
More on RAO Energy System East
RAO Energy System East already has four wind turbines with a total capacity of 1.075 MW operating in isolated areas in the far east of Russia. Moreover, the firm has two new wind diesel projects (0.9 MW in Kamchatka region and 0.5 MW in Sakhalin region) that are scheduled to become operational in the third quarter of 2015. The company’s website also highlights the firm’s goal install up to 120 MW of renewable energy, but provides no date or timeline for the goal.