Russia plans to supply North Korea with electrical power

Oct 30, 2001 01:00 AM

Russia and North Korea concluded an agreement committing the two countries to look into a Russian proposal to supply electric power to North Korea, Russian and North Korean sources said. The plan calls for building a 30 km power grid linking the Russian border town Khasan and the North Korean power system and supply electricity to North Korea from a power plant operated by Vostokenergo, a Russian regional power utility based in Khabarovsk.

North Korea is facing a severe shortage of electricity. If the power supply project is realized, it would likely increase Russia's influence on the Korean peninsula. The sources said Russia and North Korea plan to hold a working-level meeting next month in Vladivostok to discuss the amount of power to be supplied and price levels, as well as methods of payment by North Korea.
Given Pyongyang's shortage of foreign currency, it is possible that a barter arrangement will be negotiated to realize the project, the sources said. In addition to the power supply proposal, Russia has also offered to help North Korea modernize its aging power lines.

While Russia's Far Eastern coastal area around Vladivostok has been facing chronic power shortage, Russia is said to have excess power supply capability in the Khabarovsk region as well as in the Amur region where a new hydropower power plant is scheduled to be completed by the summer of 2003.

Source: Kyodo News
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