China, Russia to start joint gas pipeline construction

Moscow, Aug 31 (IANS) China and Russia are all set to start construction of a joint natural gas pipeline in Russia’s eastern Siberia this weekend, implementing a natural gas supply contract signed between the two countries.

According to a contract signed under the witness of Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin during their Shanghai meeting in May, the pipeline will transmit 38 billion cubic meters of natural gas every year to China over a period of 30 years starting from 2018.

Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli flew in from Moscow to Yakutsk, the capital city of Russia’s Sakha (Yakutia) Republic, Sunday evening to attend a start-of-construction ceremony for the Russian part of the East Route of the China-Russia natural gas pipeline, Xinhua reported.

Zhang’s attendance at the start-of-construction ceremony reflected the importance that the Chinese government attaches to the comprehensive strategic partnership with Russia and its will to expand bilateral cooperation to wider fields and higher levels.

Pipe-welding will begin Monday in the Russian part of the East Route of the China-Russia natural gas pipeline, which the Russian side named “Siberia Power” pipeline.

The Russian stakeholder of the pipeline Gazprom estimates that total investment in the project could exceed 5 billion dollars.

Gazprom Chairman Alexey Miller said Saturday that the gas supply contract was just a good beginning of bilateral cooperation in the field of natural gas.

The Russian part of the pipeline will link the Kovyktin and Chayandin gas fields in Siberia with the eastern port city of Vladivostok, covering a total distance of nearly 4,000 km.

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