Geographic location. Kamchatka Krai lies in the north-east of the Russian Federation occupying the territory of Kamchatka peninsula, neighbouring part of the continent, Karaginsky Island and the Komandorskiye Islands. The region is washed by the Bering Sea of the Pacific Ocean and by the Okhotskoye Sea from the west. Its northern neighbors are Magadan Region and Chukotka autonomous region. The total area of the region is 464.3 thous.sq.km.
Federal district: Far Eastern
Administrative center: Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky (179,526 people), distance to Moscow – 6,766 km (4,204 mi)
Major cities: Yelisovo (39,000 people), Vilyuchinsk (25,400 people)
Population: 322,079 people (estimated by Rosstat, January 1 2010)
Primary economic activities. 38.9% of the GRP belong to the industry. Fish industry prevails – 20.5% of the national fish yield and harvesting of other marine products falls on Kamchatka Krai.
Non-ferrous metallurgy (gold-mining) is the second largest branch of regional economic specialization, 42%-49% of the total industrial output being formed by it.
Timber industry and woodwork manufacture goods traditionally exported from the region. Its production potential is charged 50% at present.
Natural environment and mineral resources. Most of the territory is covered with thin birch and coniferous forest where Dahurian larch, Sayan fir-tree, silver fir grow at the humic pod, mountain pine and shrubby alder thicket are spread down the mountain slopes, and in the north one can find moss and lichen tundra growing at the tundra and peaty bog soil.
All the year round, peaks of the mountains are covered with glaciers and glacier reservoirs, giving birth to numerous streams and rivers, where Oriental salmon, the chief natural treasure of Kamchatka comes to spawn. Besides, Kamchatka rivers are rich in calico salmon, humpback salmon, loach, grayling, trout.
The waters of the Okhotskoye Sea, the Bering Sea and the Pacific Ocean surrounding Kamchatka refer to the most productive fishing areas of the Global Ocean, providing natural reproduction of over 2 mln tons of biological resources of the seas.
Kamchatka is a region of high volcanic activity, with over 1 thous. larger and smaller volcanoes, 29 of which are burning. The largest Eurasian volcano Kluchevskaya Sopka is situated here (4750 m high). Volcano activity is the source of many mineral resources deposits and expression of hydrogeothermal activity: formation of fumerole, geyser, hot springs.
There are 12 proved deposits of thermal waters in the region, 10 deposits and 22 prospective areas of vein gold identified and partially studied, residual reserves of alluvial platinum. The occurrence of vein platinum with forecasted resources as much as 30 tons is under investigation.
Being one of the largest nickeliferous provinces, Kamchatka is the 3rd-4th global leader in nickel mineralization.
The rated inland carbon resources of peninsula are estimated as much as 150 mln.tons of oil and about 800 bln. cubic meters of gas. The year 2013 is planned to see pilot oil production. Gas pipe line 387 km long running to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky is being constructed.
The region has all kinds of construction materials, except for raw materials for cement manufacture. Over 50 deposits containing raw products for construction materials manufacture have been explored.
Agriculture. 1% of the regional territory is occupied by cultivated land, 44% - by reindeer pastures. Kamchatka Krai has been known long since for fur-trapping, fur-farming being a highly developed agricultural branch. Furs of sable, fox, blue fox and fur-seal are highly evaluated at the international auctions. Reindeer breeding is developed as well.
Cereal and legume crops, potato and vegetables are grown in the region. There are plans to use geothermal resources more efficiently in order to grow wider assortment of vegetables under coverage.
Fuel and power complex. Heat Power Plants of the region use imported fuel. Hydraulic power potential of the region is high enough: a project on foundation of a tidal power plant (87 GW) located at Penzhina Bay, the Sea of Okhotsk is developed.
Rivers of Kamchatka have considerable potential (total potential as much as 20 GW of operating capacity) used by a few objects, particularly by Tolmachev HPP 20.4 mW (rated capacity 45.2 mW).
Steam hydraulic thermal springs can provide Kamchatka Krai with stable heat power, its total power potential rated as much as 1 GW. The main deposits: Mutnovskoye (up to 413.6 mln. kW/hr of electric power a year are generated at the Mutnovskaya and Verkhne-Mutnovskaya GeoTPP), Pauzhetskoye deposit (up to 60 mln. kW/hr of electric power a year is generated at the Pauzhetskaya GeoTPP).
Foreign trade turnover of the region amounted USD 677.5 mln, export – USD 540.9 mln, import – USD 136.6 mln (estimated 2009).
The main exported goods are food products and raw materials for their production: fish, crustacean and shellfish. Other exported issues are machinery, equipment and vehicles, metals and metalware.
Import is presented with fuel and power goods, machinery, equipment and vehicles.
The principal trade partners of Kamchatka Krai are China, Republic of Korea, Japan, Hong-Kong, the USA, Germany and Great Britain.
Transport network. Airline and naval transportation are the two basic types of transportation in the region. Coal, oil products and general cargo are delivered by sea through the sea trade port in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky.
The total length of common motorways with hard surface is 1.3 thous.km. Railway service isn’t presented in the region.
Tourism. Kamchatka Krai is one of the richest places in the natural and recreation resources including thermal and mineral springs, volcanoes and icicles, famous Geyser valley, diverse – mainly virgin – flora and fauna, providing wide possibilities to develop eco tourism, mountaineering, ski mountaineering tourism, sport fishing, hunting, organization of charter flights and cruises.
Five winter sports resorts of the peninsula have skiing runs which meet the international standards. The stable snow cover of the skiing pistes is formed in the beginning of November and goes off by the first days of May. Ski resorts at the flack of Avachinsky and Kozelsky volcanoes work from the end of May till late October.
In 1996 six territories of Kamchatka Peninsula, united under common name «Volcanoes of Kamchatka», were included into the list of the UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage. Visitors are attracted by thermal springs and natural parks of peninsula. The Geyser Valley lying here was recognized one of the 7 miracles of Russia in 2008.
The original culture of the small-numbered peoples of the North (Itelmens, Koryaks, Evens and Aleuts) preserved in Kamchatka contributes to development of the ethnographic tourism.