|Arthur Dominic Villasanta |||Apr 17, 2014 12:12 PM EDT|
China intends to invest in massive projects in Crimea less than a month after the former Ukrainian province was annexed by the Russian Federation.
Vladimir Chizhov, Russia's ambassador to the European Union, said Russia is partnering with China in two major Crimean projects: the "Power of Siberia" gas pipeline and a 25 meter deep Crimean deep water port. These projects will continue despite the ongoing crisis in the Ukraine, Chizhov said.
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Chizhov described the "Power of Siberia" gas pipeline as a mega-project that will pump 60 billion cubic meters of gas annually from the Kovykta and Tchayandinskoe gas fields to Russia's far east, where a branch line will deliver 38 billion cubic meters a year to China.
He noted that Gazprom, Russia's national oil company, and China National Petroleum Corporation (China's largest oil company) have a legally binding agreement from 2013. He said that exploitation of the Tchayandinskoe field will begin in 2019.
Chizhov said Russia and China are will continue with plans for Chinese firms to build a 25 meter deep port in Crimea as part of a new transport corridor from Asia to Europe called "The Economic Belt of the Great Silk Route."
As part of this project, Chinese firms will dig an enormous trench near the Crimean town of Frunze and fill it with sea water by demolishing a dam. Chizhov said Russia's annexation of Crimea, which has been roundly condemned, has done nothing to stop the Crimean port project that is worth $3 billion in the first stage alone.
The Voice of Russia, the Russian government's international radio broadcasting service, said that China "takes interest in alternative energy projects in Crimea." Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich concurred.
"We also agreed (during talks in China) that we will look into new projects, including in our new regions. Chinese colleagues who deal with alternative energy, take interest in these projects in the Republic of Crimea," Dvorkovich said.
Russian sources are calling Crimea the "new land of opportunity" for international renewable energy companies and that energy-hungry China intends to profit from it.
And in a direct snub of the Americans, China will abandon a planned $5 billion solar power plant in Nevada and invest the money in Crimea, instead.
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