A vacuum potassium nitrate making facility, a supportive item for China's west-east pipeline project, on Saturday broke ground for construction in Jintan City, Jiangsu Province.
It is the largest of the kind in the country, according to information from the Jintan Salt Chemical Industry Co. Ltd of the China National Salt Group (CNSG).
With a budget of 260 million yuan (about 32.06 million U.S. dollars), the facility will be built with the key equipment imported from Germany. It will be able to produce 1 million tons of niter, or potassium nitrate, a year upon completion, and the purity of the products will reach 99.9 percent.
The rock salt ore deposits in Jintan City total 16.31 billion tons, with the concentration of rock salt amounting to 85 percent.
In accordance with the construction plan for the west-east gas pipeline project, the mining area of the CNSG Jintan Salt Chemical Industry Co. Ltd serves as the underground gas storage warehouse for the major gas transmission pipeline project in the Yangtze River Delta.
A construction plan for the underground gas storage warehouse requires completion of a cellar by the Jintan Salt Mine before 2008. The construction of the vacuum salt making facility and enlarged brine sales are two most efficient ways for making the cellar a reality.
The east-west natural gas transmission project, with a length of 4,000 km and a designed capacity of 12 billion cubic meters, is a landmark project in China's mammoth western development drive. It is intended to link natural gas-rich Xinjiang in the northwest with East China's Shanghai.
The mammoth gas pipeline project covers Xinjiang, Gansu, Ningxia, Shaanxi, Shanxi, Henan, Anhui, Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Shanghai. Its construction started in July 2002 and was completed on Oct. 1, 2004. It began commercial operation in December 2004.