INTERVIEW: Russian LNG sales to S Korea may grow to 7 mln tns 2020
MOSCOW, Feb 6 (PRIME) Ц Russian liquefied natural gas (LNG) sales to South Korea may rise to 7 million tonnes by 2020 and to 10 million tonnes by 2030 if gas giant Gazprom and South KoreaТs Kogas conclude a long-term agreement, Russian ambassador to Seoul Alexander Timonin told PRIME on Tuesday.
УIn 2016, Gazprom and Kogas signed a cooperation agreement implying production, transportation and re-gasification of LNG. Presently Gazprom holds a 7% share of South KoreaТs market (with shipments of 1.9 million tonnes of LNG in 2016),Ф he said.
УAccording to expert assessments, the sales may rise to 7 million tonnes by 2020 and to 10 million tonnes by 2030.Ф
Timonin added that the Asian countryТs government is implementing a new energy policy which envisages restrictions on new nuclear power plants and encourages the use of LNG.
The ambassador also said that relations between the two Koreas are tense so it is premature to speak about restarting construction of a gas pipeline from Russia to South Korea via North Korea though such a project could ensure a more peaceful environment on the Korean Peninsula
The idea of a pipeline running from Russia to South Korea through the territory of North Korea was discussed about 10 years ago, when relations between the two Koreas thawed.
In 2011, Gazprom and Kogas signed a road map on a 1,100 kilometer gas pipeline project to South Korea, which envisaged laying 700 kilometers of the pipeline worth U.S. $2.5 billion in North Korea.
Timonin said that the government is working actively to attract South Korean firms to development of the Northern Sea Route project under the aegis of the Arctic Council.
Russia hopes the Northern Sea Route, which runs from Murmansk on the Barents Sea on the to the Bering Strait near Alaska, could substitute the Suez Canal by cutting the time of sea deliveries from Asia to Europe.
In 2017, bilateral goods turnover increased 41.4% on the year to $18.9 billion.