Jim Smith, president of Dunwoody-based Envirosmith Engineering, returned this month from the Sakhalin Oblast in Russia’s far east, on a U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) project identifying infrastructure development needs for the area.  The oil-rich Sakhalin Oblast includes the Sakhalin and Kuril islands and extends from the tip of the Kamchatka peninsula almost to Hokaido, Japan’s northernmost island.

      Although much of the area is ocean, Mr. Smith told GlobalFax in a telephone interview that the region will require more than $1 billion in infrastructure development, not counting the billions of dollars being invested already by major oil companies.

      He will present his conclusions and recommendations to officials of the World Bank, Overseas Private Investment Corp., the Export-Import Bank, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency and  USAID.

      Mr. Smith also visited Atyrau in Kazakstan last December on a World Bank project overseeing improvements to Atyrau’s water and sewerage treatment plant.  He is in the process of developing a budget for the project and organizing a team to do the work there.

      He may be reached by calling (770) 522-0006; fax, (770) 522-0609, or send an e-mail to jimson@mindspring.com