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"Results of Sochi: the year was not in vain"

Khabarovsk Governor Vyacheslav Shport appreciated the participation of the region in the investment forum

In mid-February, the entire Russian establishment, connected with the economy and investments, gathered at the next investment forum in Sochi. The governor of the Khabarovsk Territory Vyacheslav Shport told EastRussia what is happening with the largest projects in the region: the construction of a bypass of Khabarovsk and a pulp and paper mill in Amursk, the development of the Great Ussuri island and the reconstruction of an international airport.

"Results of Sochi: the year was not in vain"
Photo: Press Service of the Government of Khabarovsk Territory
- The site of the Russian Investment Forum in Sochi is another kind of "review" for the regions, summing up the results of development for the year. Are you satisfied with the way it was noted at the forum of the Khabarovsk Territory?

- The forum in Sochi has always been important for us. This time they discussed the most important projects - infrastructure. The infrastructure itself opens up opportunities for investors, allows them to attract their funds, and in this regard, the Khabarovsk Territory, of course, has success. In two nominations, in the field of social infrastructure, we received a good mark. Another project, public-private partnership in the construction of the so-called "Eastern bypass of Khabarovsk", was named the best. This is a complex project worth 41 billion rubles: the federal budget, regional and private investors participate in it. The road will make it possible to attract large investments to the sites of the priority development area "Khabarovsk", to which there are no entrances of the appropriate capacity, and to Vanino, where we finished laying a regional route last year. The multiplier effect will be very high. And if we consider the forum as a platform for summing up the results, today we have summed up the results: the year has not passed in vain. And this is the main point.

- Slightly in the shadow in the information sense remains another important infrastructure project - the development of the Bolshoi Ussuriysky Island on the border of Russia and China. Can you tell us what the status of the project is now?

- The island is supervised by the Ministry for the Development of the Far East. The concept of its development has been developed and is being approved by the government - this is the competence of the federal government level, since the development of the island is closely related to the issues of border regulation. Our proposal to change the status of the future checkpoint across the state border at Bolshoy Ussuriysk from passenger to cargo-passenger has been accepted by the government, and today the process of preparing the relevant regulatory legal acts is underway. At the same time, there is a search for an investor who would be involved in the implementation of the project for shore protection of the island - without this, construction cannot be carried out there. These two aspects serve as additional slowing factors for the adoption of the concept of development of the Bolshoi Ussuriysk.

- Potential investors say that the bank protection of the Bolshoy Ussuriyskiy according to the full version will be too long and expensive. This is true?

- There really are real investors in Bolshoi Ussuriyskiy today, and there is a factor promoting investment - a bridge has been built to the island from the Russian side. We are working on how to carry out bank protection in stages. The last negotiations on this score were during the recent visit of Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Trutnev to Harbin and his meeting with his Chinese counterpart, and we took a direct part in this. It is also very important here to synchronize bank protection works on the Russian and Chinese sides. We will find a solution - it is already close. And, by the way, now the problem of bank protection on the Bolshoy Ussuriysk is not urgent, it is more important to strengthen the large settlements of the Khabarovsk Territory, which were affected by the 2013 flood on the Amur: Khabarovsk and the vicinity of Komsomolsk-on-Amur. As soon as we build protective dams there, we will throw all our forces on the island of Bolshoi Ussuriysky.

- The Agency for Attracting Investments throughout the past year has been actively promoting the PPM project in the Khabarovsk Territory, which has attracted the interest of Chinese investors. Is this a live project?

- Both alive and extremely important for us: China Paper promises to invest $ 1,2 billion. We have met with its representatives more than once and held a number of negotiations. We have fulfilled all the proposals and requirements that the Chinese investors presented to us. The main requirement was that the cutting area should be located at a distance that makes it cost-effective to transport raw materials to the future plant. The Chinese side is now considering our options for the raw material base. Such issues, as you know, are not quickly resolved - after all, more than a billion dollars is at stake!

- But there is movement?

- Yes, and we will definitely bring it to its logical conclusion. We found a site in Amursk, it will be within the boundaries of the priority development area "Komsomolsk". But there is no need to rush here. And we must calculate all the risks, and the investor. We don't need a plant just for the sake of a plant, believe me. We need to create jobs for residents of Amursk and the Amur region. For the investor - so that the plant would benefit. Finding a mutually beneficial solution is never easy.

- Will it be an environmentally friendly enterprise?

- The plant will be built in accordance with the most stringent requirements. Why else are the negotiations not going so quickly? This is our fundamental condition for the environment to be in the first place.

- Tell us, if this is not a secret, what other negotiations are at the final stage?

- We have a project for the reconstruction of the metallurgical complex in Komsomolsk-on-Amur, the Amurmetall plant. We also held negotiations in China with a group of companies that propose to reconstruct the plant with a large investment.

- Is Japan interested in some projects in the Khabarovsk Territory?

- We have found the best option so far with the Japanese side - this is work on projects for growing vegetables in greenhouses of the JGC Evergreen joint venture. We have already built two large greenhouses with organic products. Now we have allocated land, we are working on the construction of the third stage of greenhouses, where they will grow strawberries. 

- Yes, this is a very successful case, which the entire Far East looks at. Maybe the Japanese are making any other proposals?

- It works the other way around: we submit proposals for finished projects. For example, they made proposals for medical projects. But the east is a delicate matter, you know. They want to first complete the three stages of greenhouses, and only then, perhaps, take up medicine. And we do not rush them. We don't need to put project names in a box: we need them to pay for themselves.

- And please comment on the latest investment decision in the reconstruction of the passenger terminal of the Khabarovsk airport.

- We found a solution to the financing and get down to work. In fact, the work has already begun. But the composition of the consortium of investors is a commercial secret, and I will not comment on them.

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