21 Feb 2023 11:18

Kurils' energy capacity to nearly double by 2026 with investment of 7 bln rubles

YUZHNO-SAKHALINSK. Feb 21 (Interfax) - There are plans to invest 7 billion rubles in the development of energy infrastructure in the Kuril Islands, which will make it possible to almost double energy capacity on the islands in three years, the press service of the Sakhalin Region government said on Tuesday.

The region's governor, Valery Limarenko discussed the development of energy infrastructure on the Kuril Islands with Energy Minister Nikolai Shulginov in Moscow on Monday.

"The leader of Sakhalin Region presented a program for the development of energy in the Kuril Islands to the federal minister. It calls for almost doubling capacity from the existing 30 MW to 50 MW by 2026 and with a further increase," the press service said in a statement.

The cost of the program is about 7 billion rubles, including 6 billion rubles that the region plans to raise from the federal budget, the press service said.

Shulginov supported the region's proposal, the press service said. "Iturup, Kunashir and Shikotan [the Southern Kurils] will together consume more than 35,000 tonnes of LNG per year. The program to develop energy in the Kuril Islands will support the development of investment projects in the fishing sector, tourism and housing construction, and create comfortable living conditions for Kuril residents," the minister was quoted as saying.

Limarenko said the islands are a strategically important part of the country. "By supplying the Kurils with LNG we will be able to convert coal boiler houses and diesel power plants to gas. This will make it possible to increase the reliability of power supplies, as well as improve the environmental situation on the islands," he was quoted as saying.

The Sakhalin regional government and Gazprom are carrying out a gasification program in 2021-2025 that calls for autonomous gasification of remote areas with liquefied natural gas (LNG). The region's governor and Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller signed an agreement at the Eastern Economic Forum last September that calls for building a small-scale LNG plant in Sakhalin and the construction of a system in the Kurils for receiving, storing and regasifying LNG.

The first train of the LNG plant is scheduled to come on line at the end of 2023, with gas supplied from the Sakhalin-2 project. An autonomous gasification system is expected to be built by then on the Southern Kuril islands of Iturup and Kunashir.

Projects for Paramushir in the Northern Kurils and Shikotan in the Southern Kurils were expected to be worked out in the third quarter of 2023 and the systems on these islands were scheduled to go into operation in the third quarter of 2025.

The Korsakov seaport in the southern part of Sakhalin Island and terminals in Kurilsk, Severo-Kurilsk, Malokurilsk and Yuzhno-Kurilsk will be used for shipping and handling LNG tanks.

Limarenko said in an interview with Interfax earlier that the LNG plant will produce up to 64,000 tonnes of LNG per year.