The commencement ceremony of the Chinese section of the Russia-China Gas Pipeline was held simultaneously via video link in Beijing, Moscow, and the construction site in Heihe, Heilongjiang province, in China.
The pipeline, also known in Russia as the Power of Siberia Pipeline, will extend from gas fields in Russia’s far east to Shanghai, and is designed to transport 38 Bcm of natural gas from Russia to China every year.
The Chinese part of the Eastern Route of Russia-China Gas Pipeline will run from the China-Russian border in Heihe,Heilongjiang Province and end at Shanghai, passing through nine provinces and cities including Heilongjiang, Jilin, Inner Mongolia, Liaoning, Hebei, Tianjin, Shandong, Jiangsu, and Shanghai.
Construction started on the Russian section of the pipeline in September 2014.
In May 2014, a gas purchase and sales contract was signed between China National Petroleum Corporation and Gazprom. Under the 30-year contract, Gazprom will start transmitting gas to China via the ‘eastern route’ from 2018, with gas delivery gradually increasing to 38Bcm/a.
The imported gas will mainly supply China’s Northeast, Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei area, and the Yangtze River Delta region, helping meet increasing clean energy demand and improve air quality.
The use of 38Bcm of natural gas instead of coal will cut CO2 emissions by 163.78 million tonnes.
In a speech at the ceremony, Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli said the pipeline is the largest China-Russia cooperative project that will diversify energy strategy and guarantee the energy security of both countries.
Mr Zhang said the Chinese side is ready to work with the Russian side to ensure that the pipeline will be completed and put into operation on schedule in 2018.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said through a tele-conference that the pipeline was one of the world’s largest energy projects and a symbol of the high level comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership between the two countries.