Vladimir Ilyukhin: “Interest in Kamchatka Peninsula is growing”
The Kamchatka Krai pavilion – at the “Streets of the Far East” Festival, held during the Second East Economic Forum – will be designed to resemble a volcano. Anyone entering it will experience the effect of being in a volcanic crater
For that purpose, there will be pieces of real volcanic lava placed inside, and lava flows will also be simulated. The first thing guests will see in the pavilion will be the exhibition of sixteen 3D photos of the beautiful nature of the peninsula. Each of them will be of record size – 2 meters wide and 1.2 meters high. Two-dimensional portraits of the “Faces of Kamchatka”, artfully expressing the spirit and character of people living in the region, will complete the impressions of visitors.
Kamchatka Governor Vladimir Ilyukhin is confident that this exhibition will arouse considerable interest among visitors and participants of the EEF. Kamchatka is one of the most amazing nature reserves, not only in Russia, but also worldwide. Even those who have never been there have heard about its volcanoes and geysers, mountain streams, and pristine nature. However, few people know that today, this is not only a land of beautiful landscapes, but also a region of new economic opportunities and almost limitless investment potential.
– Vladimir Ivanovich, it is impossible to resist Kamchatka and its beautiful nature. No wonder that the region keeps attracting tourists. Even the first surfing school in Russia has opened in Kamchatka. How many tourists come to Kamchatka every year? How do you attract them?
– Yes, interest in Kamchatka is growing significantly. Over the past year, the number of tourists has tripled – to more than 180,000 people. The region offers a wide range of recreational opportunities: we have perfect conditions for skiing and snowboarding – you can ski on volcano slopes almost all year round. Fishing and hunting here are also amazing. Event tourism has recently gained momentum. More and more guests come to see significant Kamchatka festivals. The main attractions include our Beringiya, the traditional extreme sled-dog race, and “Volcano Days” with mass ascents of the active giant volcano.
Of course, a major hurdle for tourists is the lack of infrastructure. Every year, we allocate money for these purposes within the framework of the state tourist development program.
– Maybe it is better for the environment that millions of tourists are not coming to Kamchatka...
– You are right, nature, and especially the protected nature such as ours, requires a careful approach. However, we are confident that tourism volumes will grow all the same. In addition to large projects, small and theme hotels are being built. This year, Kamchatka enthusiasts surprised tourists with a new kind of extreme recreation – offering them the chance to stay in an igloo-hotel. This was the first such project in Russia. Guest houses were built entirely of snow and decorated in the traditional style of the northern indigenous peoples of Kamchatka. They were all fully booked every single day.
– And yet, the main industry in the region remains fishing. Is it true that one of the oldest companies in this sector is still called the Lenin Collective Farm?
– Yes, it is true. Irrespective of how archaic this name may seem to you, the Lenin Collective Farm has just launched the construction of the latest, state-of-the-art vessels in Russia. It is the only company in post-Soviet Russia that is building a new series of vessels of this class at a Russian shipyard. And it has invested 4.5 billion rubles into this project!
Generally speaking, the fishing industry has always been the backbone of our economy. Kamchatka is a fishing realm of Russia. We catch around one million tons of aquatic biological resources, which is about one quarter of all Russian fish. We are the leaders in terms of investment as well. Last year alone, our fishermen invested 2.6 billion rubles into fleet renewal and fish processing. We expect that this year the dynamics will remain at the same level. Currently, the volume of investments has already been confirmed at 2.5 billion rubles, and the construction of three new, state-of-the-art factories has begun in the north of Kamchatka.
We also expect to see growth of investment activity in connection with cluster projects. There are 11 investors who intend to carry out projects for the production of the most popular frozen products and caviar, as well as advanced fish processing products, and the establishment of waste-free production in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky and coastal areas. They plan to invest 7 billion rubles into these projects.
– Another industry that has experienced a fantastic boost is mining. What are the reasons for such positive developments?
– Kamchatka has recently taken the lead in terms of growth in the industrial production index in the Far East. It grew 25 % in just the first half of the year! According to statistics, this was made mainly due to the volume of mining operations, which doubled in just six months. This occurred because the modern Ametistovy Mining and Processing Plant, located in the north of the peninsula, reached full capacity. Geotekhnologiya, another major mining enterprise, resumed its operations. In addition, the construction of another large factory, a mining and processing plant at the Ozernovskoye deposit, is scheduled to begin this year. With the launch of new projects and the development of deposits, in a few years, we will be able to increase the volume of gold mining in the region to about 10-12 tons. Now we are mining about 4.2 tons.
– Almost all major projects in Kamchatka are supposed to be implemented as part of the Advanced Special Economic Zone. It was created one year ago. What has been achieved in this time?
– The special economic regime of the Advanced Special Economic Zone in Kamchatka combines several spheres of activity: transport and logistics, tourism and recreation, and agriculture. Today we have 25 applications from investors with a total investment volume of 22 billion rubles. Thirteen investors have already been granted resident status. Their volume of investment is closing in on 7 billion rubles. These are projects aimed at developing small aviation, fish and mineral resource industries, and agriculture. In the sphere of tourism, it is planned to create new spa resorts and modern hotel complexes.
We are now working on infrastructure development at the ASEZ sites. The federal and regional budgets will provide 8 billion rubles for this purpose. For instance, regional budget funds will be spent on the construction of transport and energy infrastructure at the Zelenovskiye Ozerki and Paratunka investment sites. We plan to commission all facilities there by the end of 2017.
– Not so long ago, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky received Free Port status. How will the region benefit from this?
– The situation at the port of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky today is difficult, because of the reconstruction of federal sites. This issue has to be resolved before the Free Port can become fully operational. And federal funds that we receive mostly target the reconstruction of the piers. This work has to be done in order to ensure the development of cruise tourism, and the regular mooring of cruise ships. This year, the federal programs will provide for major repairs of several piers and, most importantly, the design works for the modernization and construction of new pier facilities.
In general, the “free port” regime, even at its initial stage, will make it possible to attract about 7 billion rubles of private investment into the regional economy. We already have anchor residents, and we are working on drafting the necessary agreements with them. The Free Port is also attractive, because it provides an opportunity to obtain preferential treatment for those investors who, for whatever reason, were not able to become residents of the ASEZ.
– In your opinion, why should regions of the Far East, and Kamchatka in particular, take part in the Eastern Economic Forum?
– It provides a unique opportunity to show our economic and increase investment potential, both on domestic and international levels. The EEF is a platform for regional authorities and investors to share their views and suggestions, make comments, and discuss all issues in detail. The main result of the forum for us is to attract investors to the region. We must showcase our projects, so that businesses will wish to get involved in them. And I am talking about foreign businesses as well, because the forum is international.
– What projects are you going to showcase at the EEF?
– Construction of a new air terminal at the Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky Airport, creation of a mining and processing facility at the Ozernovskoye deposit, and two agricultural projects–construction of the all-season greenhouse complex “Zelenaya Ferma” (Green Farm) and the Kamchatka Broiler Poultry Farm. Their total cost reaches approximately 19 billion rubles. Moreover, we will also show all our promising projects in the field of tourism and transport on our interactive layout of the Kamchatka ASEZ.
Investment projects of Kamchatskiy krai
Construction of the Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky International Airport
Initiated by Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky Air Enterprise. The new air terminal will be built taking into account growing tourist flow. The building is designed for passengers of local, inter-regional, and international airlines. The highest traffic capacity of the three-story terminal with an area of 22,620 square meters is 400 passengers per hour. Along with departure and arrival areas, there will be aviation security services, border and customs control, a medical center, post office, retail and consumer services. The design of the air terminal will include national elements of the Kamchatka Krai. The construction of the first stage of the air terminal will cost approximately 3.1 billion rubles. The project will take 4 years to complete. Potential investors are invited to join the project on the basis of public-private partnerships. The project will be partly funded from federal and regional state budgets. The airport is expected to become one of the platforms of the Kamchatka ASEZ, which grants tax preferences and other incentives for businesses. In addition to the construction of the airport complex, the project is aimed at the development of the main air hub of Kamchatka, including the opening of new hotels, improving road and engineering infrastructure, as well as other facilities needed for servicing passengers. Overall, the project is expected to attract up to 10 billion rubles of public and private investments.
Mining and smelting project for the extraction and processing of ore from the Ozernovskoye gold deposit in the Kamchatka Krai
Initiated by Sigma, JSC (Siberian Mining and Smelting Enterprise). The project cost is 12.5 billion rubles (Own funds: 9.24 billion rubles (1.9 billion has already been invested). Borrowed funds: 3.2 billion rubles). The project involves the construction of a pilot production enterprise for the extraction and processing of gold ore in the territory of the licensed area with an annual capacity of up to 250,000 tons per year. The project requires the construction of a mining and processing plant, facilities and infrastructure. The Ozernovskoye gold deposit is situated in the Karaginsky district, and is the largest in the Kamchatka Krai. The ore field covers an area of about 100 square kilometers. After reaching its full capacity, the mining and smelting enterprise of the Ozernovskoye deposit is expected to produce up to 10 tons of gold annually. At the moment, the project’s initiator is conducting field exploration works.
Construction of an all-season greenhouse complex
Initiated by Zelenaya Ferma, LLC (Green Farm). The project cost is 1.2 billion rubles. The project provides for the construction of a 5-hectare greenhouse complex in the village of Termalny in Elizovsky district of Kamchatka Krai. After reaching its planned capacity, the complex is expected to produce annually: 2,000 tons of cucumbers, 1,000 tons of tomatoes, and up to 400,000 heads of lettuce. Thanks to this project, vegetable self-sufficiency level in the Kamchatka Krai may grow from 10 % to 25 %. Currently the Kamchatka Krai consumes about 17,000 tons of greenhouse vegetables (tomatoes, cucumbers, greens) annually. Farm households and enterprises located in the Elizovsky district produce no more than 2,000 tons (10 %) annually. Zelenaya Ferma, LLC is an official resident of the Kamchatka ASEZ. Its project will be implemented at the Zelenovskiye Ozerki Agro-Industrial Park, which is one of the sites of the ASEZ. Now the initiator is engaged in the process of obtaining the necessary approvals to receive permission to start construction.
The Kamchatka Broiler poultry farm project
Initiated by Development Corporation of Kamchatka, JSC. The project cost is 1.7 billion rubles. The project aims at creating a modern highly effective complex for the production and processing of poultry near the village of Razdolny in the Elizovsky district of Kamchatka Krai. The new poultry farm will be placed into operation in several steps. The overall production capacity of the farm will be 6,300 tons of poultry meat annually. The poultry farm is expected to provide local residents of the Kamchatka Krai with chilled chicken and chicken byproducts. Today, the population of the region consumes about 8,500 tons of poultry meat annually (and the major part of these products is imported). The project initiator has reached an agreement to be given land for the enterprise, and is now drafting design specifications and estimates. The poultry farm is expected to begin production in July-August 2018.