Russian/Japanese companies to develop windfarms

RUSSKY ISLAND, RUSSIA - JSC RusHydro, a hydroelectric company and Russia's largest power-producing company, has announced that it is planning to sign an agreement with Japan's Mitsui and Company Limited and Electric Power Development Company Limited to build windfarms on Russky Island, off Vladivostok in Russia.

The memorandum of understanding between the companies to cooperate on erection of the wind power project has already been signed.

The project is estimated to cost $91.4 million.

The 50:50 joint venture partnership will see the Japanese companies funding up to 50% of the total cost as co-investors after assessing the island's wind potential. Russky Island is located in the Peter the Great Gulf in the Sea of Japan, about 9,300 kilometers from Moscow. The island is surrounded by a cluster of small islands such as Popova, Reyneke, and Rikorda.

Construction of the windfarm is scheduled to start in 2010 and is slated for completion by April 2012. On completion, the wind power project will have a capacity to generate 36 megawatts (MW) of electricity. Another windfarm with a higher production capacity is also planned to be built in the Primorye region.

The region has an estimated potential to produce about 200 MW of wind power. Russia plans to commission the windfarm as part of the Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation summit to be held in Vladivostok in April 2012.

RusHydro, which is partly state-owned, has a total installed capacity to produce 25,336 MW of power. While the company's total production in 2008 was 80,272 kilowatt-hours (kWh), the total energy output was 78,664 kWh. The company operates 55 renewable power facilities and 102 hydroelectric power plants, enjoying a 12% market share in the domestic power sector. Some of RusHydro's ongoing and planned projects include the construction of two to three hydropower plants in Laos with a capacity to produce 150-200 MW each and hydroelectric dams in India and Nepal with a total capacity of 2,000 MW.

RusHydro, in collaboration with United Company Rusal, plans to build a mega-hydroelectric power plant in Boguchansk. The two-smelter aluminum plant and power facility has been temporarily shelved because of financing difficulties. Once an agreement is reached between the companies on the sale of electricity produced from the plant and financing is in place, the project is likely to be revived this summer.


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