Empire Of The Ring - LightNovelsOnl.com
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Countries attacked by terrorists started to criticize countries supporting terrorists such as Syria and Iraq. Countries such as France, Israel, the United Kingdom, Turkey, and Russia even conducted counterattacks. Russia was in a funny position since it provided weapons to anti-government organizations and proclaimed war against terrorism at the same time.
The country's infrastructures such as oil pipelines were widely exposed to terrorists. A political intention to shake the countries under rebel attacks seemed to be also part of Russia's agenda.
Terrorism was already prevalent in Turkey, France, and the United Kingdom. Still, it did not seem to make sense how Israel kept attacking Syria and Lebanon. All those countries only needed a small trigger to turn the situation into a huge war. Youngho had become nervous because he already saw that there would be a war at the end of this road.
From the recent capture of Baku's terrorists, Youngho was shocked by how easy terrorists could get their hands on explosives. Anyone could get their hands on the materials needed for explosives if they knew what they were. It did not matter what their reasoning was. The problem was that people saw terrorism as a highly paid occupation, and someone was providing unlimited funds to support terrorism. Everything that would trigger a war was already on the table.
Youngho realized that he needed to make a detailed plan to build protection systems and strategic supply storages at the ranch. He might be a bit too sensitive about the situation, but all of his senses were alarming him for the high possibility of danger that was about to come.
"Jongil, you used to have a connection to a government official at the Ministry of Energy, right?"
Youngho remembered that Jongil used to spend a lot of time in an effort to get some information from a government official.
"Sure did. I know a greedy guy who likes bribes. What's up? I have nothing else to get from him. I haven't talked to him in a while."
"We need some oil tanks. Secretly."
"What now? Why do you need them? You think it's that easy to steal oil tanks? Besides, do you think he'll help you without a bribe?"
Jongil seemed to find Youngho's request interesting.
"You must have something to get him to work. A good agent doesn't pay to get what he needs. Am I wrong?"
"This guy…. Okay. Let's say I can get him to steal them for us. Why do need oil tanks all of a sudden?"
Youngho explained to Jongil about what he sensed and realized the necessity for storing supplies for nearing danger.
Large tanks were delivered to the ranch.
Jongil managed to get ten of 20,000-liter oil tanks from the official.
They were set up outside near the dead mines, which was the safest place in the ranch. 20,000 liters of oil could fill up the gas tanks of 2,850 compact cars.
However, one thing still worried Youngho.
If something happened at the oil production line from the government's petrochemical complex, the tanks would be useless. There must be measures in that case.
That was how he turned his eyes to photovoltaic power generators.
Since Baku's dry weather was perfect for utilizing solar energy, it would not be a problem to produce electricity.
The problem was that the photovoltaic industry was not developed in Azerbaijan due to overflowing crude oil supply.
People in remote mountainous regions used solar panels to watch TV and charge their phones. Most of the panels were imported from foreign countries at high costs, and since Youngho's ranch needed a large number of them, he searched for Korean products.
Even in Korea, the photovoltaic industry was not so popular now after the oil price dropped after 2000. There were only a handful of companies left in the industry.
Youngho was connected to Korean K Electronics through the Korean Emba.s.sy in Baku. After hearing about the large scale of Youngho's farms and ranch, an employee of the company immediately flew to Baku to see Youngho.
The employee from K Electronics was astonished to see the overwhelming scale of the grape farm. He was even surprised to hear the number of wine bottles produced by the farm every year, which was about three million bottles.
After looking around the Charles Farm and the ranch as well, the staff suggested building an a.s.sembly plant in Baku since it was difficult to import such a huge number of completed solar panels.
Although Youngho would have to make an investment, he was intrigued by his suggestion. It was actually a great business proposal with a bright future especially in the regions of the Caucasus. The employee added that K Electronic was planning to make a foray in the Middle East, and Baku could be the business' stepping stone.
Apart from making profits, Youngho was interested in the green energy supply business since the pollutants made from oil production and reprocessing methods were contaminating Baku.
Youngho felt sorry that Baku was being polluted by people more and more even though it was the place their descendants would live in.
He often felt this when he visited Sumqayit's clothing store—that not only soil but also air pollution was at a serious level since the city of Sumqayit was in the top ten of the world's most polluted cities.
Oil resources would dry out at some point.
The Azerbaijani government also was preparing to develop alternative energy sources for that. The government invested their oil money in developing social overhead capital facilities, but because of the nation's geological features, that 60% of the land was part of the Caucasus Mountain Range, there were limitations.
At the thought of this, Youngho thought of a cunning idea.
He did not have to invest in K Electronics alone when he already had a lot of other businesses going on. He could make some investment and draw in the Azerbaijani government to the business. Then, K Electronics would have its own production factory in Baku.
"Mr. President, all I've told you so far are what I realized as I traveled to Frankfurt every month. This energy policy is definitely necessary for Azerbaijan."
"You made my blood race, Mr. Lee. I am touched by your concern for the people of Azerbaijan as a citizen of Azerbaijan. Now I get why Mr. Yaniv kept telling me about you nonstop."
Youngho emphasized the importance of the efficient use of resources, claiming that the country should pa.s.s down the oil resources to the next generations and the descendants would remember the president's accomplishment.
Since there was little possibility that he could persuade the president, he tried very hard to be as logical as possible. Youngho made a big presentation about solar energy and encouraged the governor to build better infrastructures for solar energy production than Europeans. Working together with a Korean company, Youngho emphasized that it would be a vicious business to make profits from countries around the Caucasus. Youngho suggested that they could start building small solar panel a.s.sembly plants. Then they could learn from Korea's advanced technology to lead the nation's industry development.
President Aliyev always had a thirst for advanced technology, and this opportunity to learn Korea's technology seemed to be able to quench his thirst.
"I started my business in Baku and I will lead on to return what I've received from Baku. If I say that I will build a.s.sembly plants, the Korean government wouldn't be so picky to offer the solar technology."
Although it was not such a secret technology, to Azerbaijani, it was a great opportunity to gain advanced technology. Moreover, since Youngho said that he would invest his funds too, it would be crazy of President Aliyev to refuse his proposal.
"Mr. Lee, you made my day! I am surrounded by people who just want to maintain their power and positions. But you—you are different."
Giving a piece of advice to a dictator was a brave act for anybody in Azerbaijan since they might be putting their lives at risk. However, Youngho's case might be different. His suggestion was for the growth of Azerbaijani.
The process was quick since K Electronics was eager to take this chance to expand their business. This would be a huge opportunity for K Electronics to build a headquarters in Baku which could be a foothold for them as they made a foray into the Caucasus and the Middle East.
Youngho agreed on getting 10% of the future profits as an agent between the Azeri government and K Electronics. The government and the company each would be getting 45% of the profits. Although Youngho only had 10% of the company's share, he still got to have some control over this agenda. Though all these were for preparing for possible danger for the ranch and the Serbian descendants' village, the solar panels were definitely necessary for Youngho. Michael from the CIA's European Chapter was also notified of President Aliyev's founding of the KoreAzeri combined company.
Now, even if the CIA's European Chapter wanted to relocate him, they could not do it anymore. Youngho also had this in mind beforehand. He was looking at the big picture.
The village chief Niksic walked into his study with a humble face on.
The old guy was always confident outside, but whenever he came to Youngho's mansion, he did not know what to do. Although Youngho knew why he acted that way, he still did not understand the relations.h.i.+p of the Archd.u.c.h.ess and the knights.
Youngho had to hold back his laughter every time he saw him act that way.
"Welcome. You didn't have to come a long way now that you have a satellite phone. You can always make a phone call when you need something."
"How can I possibly act in such an impolite way? I wanted to pay my respects to the Archd.u.c.h.ess and her baby as well."
"The weather's getting cold now. Please take care of yourself first. A flu is going around these days."
"I'll be alright even if I rolled on a snowfield because of the clothes you gave us."
The descendants of Serbian knights had been living with old and ragged leather clothes and shoes. When Youngho gave them winter clothes as a gift, they were very appreciative.
The winter in the mountain 800 meters high above sea level was harsh.
They had been living without proper socks or underclothes, so winter clothes and shoes were an overwhelming gift for them.
"So, what made you travel on the snowy, rough road?"
Since Niksic had been reluctant even when having tea, Youngho asked first.
"I had contact with the descendants of the old kingdom who had been scattered around. They also want to move in with us at the ranch. If you take them in, they'll praise you and the Archd.u.c.h.ess."
Niksic was worried that Youngho might not welcome more Serbian residents since he already took in fifty-two families. However, Youngho was rather glad that there were more of the descendants left.