Danish Company Wants to Rent a Russian Kuril Island to Make 'Green' Hydrogen for Japan
© Sputnik / Igor WeinsteinThe coast of Atlasov Island - one of the islands of the Northern Group of the Great Ridge of the Kuril Islands.
© Sputnik / Igor Weinstein
The island is not part of the decades-long territorial dispute between Moscow and Tokyo and hence the construction of a hydrogen-fuel plant is unlikely to trigger a scandal. Yet, the project is still not guaranteed to come to fruition.
The Danish firm Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners is planning to rent an entire Russian island, Shumshu, to build a renewable energy power plant to produce "green" hydrogen, the Governor of the Sakhalin region, Valery Limarenko, has revealed in an interview with the Russian news outlet RBC. Shumshu is a part of the northern Kuril Islands.
Limarenko explained that Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners are focusing on investments in green renewable sources of energy and want to generate 1.5 GW of power and produce 120,000 tonnes of hydrogen using the wind energy on Shumshu. The project is estimated to have a price tag of $2-2.5 billion.
The governor noted that implementation of the project is not yet guaranteed, but "serious talks" are continuing between the company and the regional government. Limarenko stressed that the island Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners wants to rent is not subject to the territorial dispute between Russia and Japan – the primary market where the company plans to sell the hydrogen produced.
The southern Kuril Islands, Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan, and Habomai, were claimed by Russia as a result of the signing of the Treaty of San Francisco that formally ended hostilities with Japan after WWII. The treaty plainly says that all the Kuril Islands would be ceded to the USSR. However, Tokyo disputes the designation of the southern Kurils, insisting that they are called the "Northern Territories" – a term that is not used anywhere except for Japan itself.