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Oleg Kozhemyako: “The construction of a Marine station in Korsakov is crucial for the region”

The governor of Sakhalin region speaks to EastRussia

Oleg Kozhemyako: “The construction of a Marine station in Korsakov is crucial for the region”

– Which Sakhalin Oblast projects and agreements presented at the Eastern Economic Forum 2015 were developed during the past year? How would you assess their implementation and importance for the region?

– In 2015 the delegation from the Sakhalin Oblast entered into a total of 11 agreements and Intent to Cooperate protocols. These span the development of different areas of the island’s economy: fisheries, coal and forest industries, agriculture, transport infrastructure, and also interregional relations. I dare say that there isn’t a single minor or low-priority agreement or protocol among them. Throughout the year, we moved on to the implementation stage of these agreements.

For example, the Fish Stock Exchange project has been being carried out since September of last year. The agreement for its creation was reached with Sberbank. The auction section for biological water resources was launched on Sberbank’s universal electronic platform referred to as the Automated System for Trading. A direct dialogue between fishery companies and trading enterprises was successfully established, and the numerous middlemen who had been directly responsible for the constantly increasing prices of seafood were put out of business. This is a totally new project for Russia as a whole, and it will be carried out in several phases. The next step is the formation of a genuine fishing cluster in the Port of Korsakov that contains an industrial cold-storage plant for products, processing capacities and a ship repair area.

Another agreement – this one with the The Far East and Baikal Region Development Fund – is also currently being implemented. The funds necessary to finance the Sakhalin investment projects were invested in the authorized capital of the company, and now these projects are part of the Advanced Special Economic zones of Gorniy Vozdukh (Mountain Air) and Yuzhnaya.

Common interests have allowed us to tighten our ties with the geographically remote Belgorod Oblast. I would like to recall that the governments of the two regions have already signed an agreement on trade, economic, scientific, technological and cultural cooperation. As a result, cooperation was solidified between business structures: now there are direct deliveries of Prioskolie and Yasnie Zori chicken products from Belgorod Oblast to Sakhalin Oblast, and also Sloboda fat-and-oil products, vegetables and canned dairy products.

The agreements reached at the Economic Forum give us great hope for large projects in the coal and agriculture sectors of Sakhalin. Currently, the exploitation of the Solntsevsky Coal Field by the Eastern Mining Company is moving to a new level of technological development. With support from the Far East and Baikal Region Development Fund, they plan to build the largest coal mine conveyor belt in the country to connect the Solntsevsky Open-Pit Mine with the Port of Shakhtyorsk. Coal will be delivered 28 kilometers to the harbor and then loaded onto ships. The designer for this conveyor belt is currently being selected.

According to the agreements reached at Eastern Economic Forum 2015, two big projects in the Yuzhnaya Advanced Special Economic zone were launched in the agricultural sector. The initiators for these projects were Merci Agro Sakhalin Company and the Khankaisky Agro-Industrial Complex Green Agro Sakhalin. The first is a pig farming complex with a capacity of 62,000 heads located in the village of Taranay in the Aniva District. The other is two livestock farming complexes with 1,900 milking cows each, located on state owned farms in the southern part of the island. The deadline for the completion of the first project is 2017, and the second one will be finished by 2018. As a result, Sakhalin Oblast’s economy will be significantly bolstered. In all, about 500 new jobs will be created, and annual milk production will reach 33,000 tons (and dairy products up to 22,000 tons). The level of local pork supply to local residents will also increase from 27 to 67%.”

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– What will the region present at this year’s Eastern Economic Forum? Which projects are currently being prepared to be featured? Can we already discuss certain agreements that might be signed at the Forum? Which projects would you like to highlight?

– We have many plans, and we also have preliminary agreements with the representatives of Russian and foreign companies. In total, we have more than 15. As far as projects for the presentation are concerned, I would like to highlight two of them. They are included in the total 28 projects of the Far East regions that will be presented to all potential investors during the pitch-sessions.

One of the Sakhalin projects is very important for the development of the regional transport infrastructure: the construction of a passenger Marine station with a pier in Korsakov so ocean cruise ships can dock. This will be a modern building to serve passengers at a qualitatively new level. Marine passenger transportation to the Kuril Islands will be conducted through this port, and ferries will come here as well from Wakkanai, Japan. In addition, cruise ships with a large number of tourists can cast anchors regularly in the port. The pre-project works are currently underway, and its construction will start next year. The project will be carried out with the support of three investors: the Korsakov Marine Trading Port, Sakhalin Marine Gates Company and the Corporation for the Development of the Sakhalin Oblast.

The second project is aimed at ensuring the food security of the Sakhalin Oblast. Two livestock farming complexes will be built with a total capacity of 3,800 animals. One will focus on dairy farming, and this complex is already being built. Specialists have started to create the forage base, and significant areas have been planted with the required grain crops. Several dozen modern agricultural machines have also been purchased. The enterprise will own its own milk processing facilities. There will also be a complex with 1,900 cows for meat livestock farming, and a beef processing plant is planned to be constructed nearby. Green Agro Company will be the project’s investor.

– The participation of Sakhalin Oblast in the Eastern Economic Forum 2015 was remembered for its large gift of red caviar. What will be the highlight this year?

– This time Sakhalin Oblast came up with an ingenious solution to interest any attendee: a hologram. We will discuss the tourist attractiveness of Sakhalin Oblast using art objects. A 3D visualization will allow visitors to become immersed in many parts of the region and to get to know its natural heritage. Visitors will be able to travel virtually through the Gorniy Vozdukh (Mountain Air) sports/tourism complex, which will become the base of the Advanced Special Economic zone sharing the same name. Visitors from different Russian regions and other countries come every winter to go skiing on its slopes. Currently, it’s undergoing a bit of modernization: the length of the trails is being increased and new cableways are being built. This work should be complete by 2020. Visitors will be able to see Bolshevik Mountain and ski slopes in the hologram. Moreover, in the Sakhalin Oblast pavilion located on Far East Street, we will have a special simulator that imitates skiing down mountain slopes. These types of simulators are used by professional athletes as they prepare for competitions. What’s more, it can give budding enthusiasts an insight into this kind of sport. We hope that later we can see visitors to our pavilion on the ski slopes of Gorniy Vozdukh (Mountain Air). This will be the very start of their acquaintance with the only island region in Russia.