K-Water and Russia’s RusHydro will cooperate

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K-Water and Russia’s RusHydro will cooperate

A Russian hydroelectricity giant recently signed an agreement with a South Korean governmental water resource agency to collaborate on a large-scale energy cooperation project in Russia’s Far East and North Korea.

The memorandum of understanding was signed in Moscow on Friday between RusHydro, Russia’s largest hydropower producer, and the government-owned corporation Korea Water Resources Corporation, or K-Water, South Korea’s top renewable energy company.

The agreement was brokered by Alexander Galushka, minister for the development of the Russian Far East and could provide an opportunity to work with Pyongyang in the future.

Galushka said in a meeting Friday that North Korean officials have agreed with the Russian partners including RusHydro “on the implementation of trilateral projects” with Seoul.

He quoted media reports saying that Seoul and Moscow agreed to create a working group to plan definitive proposals on direct investments in the Russian Far East by April.

K-water CEO Choi Gye-woon said that through this cooperation, “We have built up consensus for participation in the ‘Eurasia Initiative,’” referring to Seoul’s plan to boost the regional economy through free trade and economic cooperation and a transcontinental railroad that would connect the Korean Peninsula to Russia, Central Asia and Europe.

Choi stressed the importance of “increasing exchanges in water quality technology in order for K-Water to enter foreign markets.”

RusHydro in a statement said, “This collaboration provides for joint research, exchange of technical know-how in terms of hydropower facilities modernization and other businesses development.”

The agreement, which runs for two years, is aimed at cooperation in hydropower, renewable energy sources and environmental issues of water usage, as well as the design, construction, operation and maintenance of hydro facilities and financing.

RusHydro, founded in 1993, is one of the largest power generating companies in the country with an installed electricity generation capacity of 38.2 gigawatts.

The total installed capacity of K-Water’s renewable energy sources amounts to 1.3 gigawatts, and includes the Sihwa Lake Tidal Power Station in Gyeonggi.

BY SARAH KIM [sarahkim@joongang.co.kr]

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