South Korea to energize North Caucasus

(RIA Novosti / Said Tzarnaev)
Russia and South Korea are teaming up to develop the emerging North Caucasus tourism hub – an exciting project which will create 20,000 local jobs.

The Russian government will fund the initiative through Northern Caucasus Resorts – a state-owned company created to construct five new world-class resorts in the region.

Ahmed Bilalov, the company’s Board Chairman, says “the project is a state – private partnership, with 60 billion roubles coming from the Russian government through Resorts of The North Caucasus, which will own 50% in the joint venture, while Korea Western Power (KOWEPO) and CHT Korea will own 40% and 10% respectively.”

South Korea is not the only international partner in the project: French state company Caisse des Depots et Consignations is also investing 15-20 billion euros.

The joint venture will produce and provide energy in the Northern Caucasus. The first stage will see five coal-fired power plants built in energy-deficient regions, with one in Sochi’s Krasnodar region.

“This energy project will create 20 thousand jobs in the south of Russia,” Bilalov notes.

The Korean partners will contribute around $1 billion for the construction of tourism infrastructure objects. Bilalov added that “the investment package could be expanded in view of additional projects in other Russian regions.”

Islam Nazaraliyev, Deputy Director for International Cooperation at Northern Caucasus Resorts, says the partnership brings together industry leaders using the latest technologies to maximum efficiency.

“One of the main requirements and conditions of the deal is that the infrastructural objects should all be built to high ecological standards. Korean engineers have the latest technologies in that field, which ensures 90% of coal utilization, whereby Russians could provide less than half”.

The cost of the first stage could amount to $300 billion. Ahmed Bilalov says that research will be done to estimate the volume of energy consumption in the region.

“As soon as the first stage is completed, the parties will begin the construction of wind and solar energy systems,” Bilalov says.

President of KOWEPO, Kim Moon Duk, explains that his company has a clear understanding of the complex location of the region.

“It is not a coincidence that Pyongyang will be hosting the following Winter Olympic Games, after Russia’s turn in 2018. We will take part in the preparations for the Winter Games in Korea, and we’re well acquainted with the same process in Sochi,”  Kim Moon Duk says.

“We believe that our good experience in this field, and mutual understanding with our respected partners from Russia guarantee the success of the project. We hope that the project will play a significant role in the further development of relations between Russia and South Korea,”  Kim Moon Duk added.

Over the next 9 years, 5 world-class mountain resorts will appear in the Krasnodar region. The length of the ski slopes will total around 900 km, with over 179 ski lifts. The tourism cluster will be able to accommodate some 89,000 visitors, with 5 – 10 million expected to visit each year.