Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership
The construction of electric power transmission lines from Hunchun, Jilin Province, China into the Raso’n Economic and Trade Zone in the DPRK has begun. Hunchun Vice Mayor Han Changfa announced on 7 January 2014 that all necessary work on the Chinese side of the border including “land requisition, house demolishing and relocation, and erection of power line” was “by and large completed.” The $33 million USD (200 million Yuan Renminbi) project, led by the State Grid Corporation of China, involves the construction of a 66 kV transmission line and a substation located in Raso’n. Approximately 81 km (50 miles) of the transmission lines will be located in the DPRK. The project was authorized by a panel of experts from the Beijing Economic Research Institute in late October 2012 after the publication of a feasibility study by the State Grid Corporation of China. According to Zhongguo Xinwen She, the “major purpose of this electricity transmission project is to facilitate the infrastructure construction of the Raso’n Economic and Trade Zone and meet the power needs in the production of the enterprises settling in the zone and in related commercial activities and livelihood” and that the “project will further expedite the economic and social development of Raso’n City.” When the project is completed, it will be the first time that the State Grid Corporation of China supplies electricity to a foreign country.