China begins construction of gas pipeline to connect east
From K J M Varma
Beijing, Oct 16 (PTI) China today began construction of a 7,378-km long pipeline which will pump natural gas from the nation''s resource-rich western regions to the energy-starved east.
The pipeline is expected to transmit 30 billion cubic meters of gas annually. It will cross 10 provinces and autonomous regions, including Xinjiang.
This is the first major infrastructure project taken up by the government after it announced over USD 150 billion stimulus to tide over the economic slow down triggered by the declining exports markets.
The third pipeline is a key project approved this year by the State Council, the country''s cabinet.
It consists of one trunk line and eight branch lines. The trunk line will measure 5,000-km. It will start from Horgos in Xinjiang and end at Fuzhou, capital city of Fujian.
The project is expected to be completed before 2015.
Around 25 billion cubic meters of gas will come from central Asian countries each year, meanwhile, five billion cubic meters of gas will come from Xinjiang, according to the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC).
The new project is expected to cost 125 billion yuan (USD 19.7 billion) to build, according to the CNPC.
Ceremonies were held in Beijing, Fujian Province in east China, and Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in the northwest to mark the launch of the construction, state run Xinhua news agency reported.
The first pipeline, crossing 10 provinces and regions, has transferred more than 138 billion cubic meters of gas since 2004. The pipeline starts from Xinjiang and ends in Shanghai.
The second pipeline, measuring around 8,700-km with capacity to transfer 30 billion cubic meters of gas annually from Xinjiang to Guangdong Province in the south will be commissioned later this year.