Business Mongolia reports on plans for Prime Minister Batbold to visit Japan from March 10 to 15, including a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Noda.
The article says Batbold wants to talk about importing nuclear technology from Japan to build the first Mongolian nuclear power plant.
Another topic will be an Economic Partnership Agreement. Mongolia has a long standing interest to conclude some kind of agreement with Japan.
I think any such agreement should contain a section on large-scale renewable energy from the Gobi desert.
The latest figures show that Japan is running a trade deficit of 1.475 trillion yen in January. 544.7 billion yen of that is from imports of LNG energy.
One possible vision for Desertec Asia would be for Japan (and maybe other countries) to operate and own some plants to produce fuel, while Mongolia would get a certain percentage of the income for providing the desert land needed. At sufficient scale, this might be of strategic interest to avoid having energy costs ruining the trade balance. At very large scale, any country could become an exporter of energy.
With the quicklime option to transport the energy, there is no need for China’s cooperation in building a power line from Mongolia to Japan.