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Russian president hails geothermal development on Kunashil Island, Kurils

Kunashir Island, Kuril Island Group (source: flickr/ j.emelyanova)
Alexander Richter 1 Nov 2010

The Russian president visits a geothermal plant on the Kunashir Island in the Kuril Island Archipelago, an island group that is also been claimed Japan.

Reported by Russian media, and at the same time strongly criticized by the Japanese government, the Russian President Dimitry Medvedev visited the Kuril Islands. This island group is disputed between Russia and Japan.

“Four islands of the archipelago have long been a bone of contention between Russia and Japan, with both countries claiming them to be part of their territory. Because of Japan’s territorial claims, Russian leaders in the past had been reluctant to visit the islands.” (RT.com)

“Russian President Dmitry Medvedev considers the development of the small-scale power generation in such small settlements as Yuzhno-Kurilsk on the Kunashir Island as promising.

“This is a definite alternative and the correct one for these places,” he said at a visit to a geothermal station on the outskirts of this town on Monday. “This is better than deliver the fuel oil,” he underlined.

The electric power cost from this geothermal station is thrice lower than at the diesel electric power stations, general director of the Yuzhno-Kurilsk energy company Konstantin Butakov told the president.

“This is the small-scale power generation and the energy efficiency we are speaking about,” the president said.

Butakov dwelt that the power generation capacity of the geothermal station built three years ago makes 3.6 MW. This power output covers 40% of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk’s needs. One more geothermal station is under design now, and after it is put into operation the town will be able to get rid of inefficient diesel electric power stations.

The director of the local energy company noted that currently the geothermal station is the only one in Russia that generates electric and thermal power simultaneously.

Medvedev examined the geothermal station and dropped at the room of a duty operator.”

Source: ITAR TASS, RT.com