Liquefied natural gas to debut in Lhasa

16:18, May 05, 2011      

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Lhasa, a city located on the "roof of the world", will bid farewell to liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and welcome greener liquefied natural gas (LNG) with the completion of a new energy project in mid-October, said local authorities on Thursday.

The project, which is projected to cost 320 million yuan (49.3 million U.S. dollars) by the time it is completed, is located in the city of Golmud in northwest China's Qinghai Province. It is funded by the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), the country's largest oil and gas producer.

The project is expected to generate 110 million cubic meters of natural gas annually, according to local authorities. Lhasa, the capital city of China's Tibet Autonomous Region, will receive 30 million cubic meters annually. Qinghai Province's Yushu County will receive 10 million and the Aba Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Sichuan Province will receive the lion's share of 70 million.

Lhasa currently uses about 30 million cubic meters of natural gas every year, but its supply will likely be adjusted by increasing demands for gas, according to Xie Guanghui, general manager of the Qinghai liquefied Natural Gas Company under the CNPC.

Xie said that the areas being supplied with the gas have fragile natural environments. Xie added that Lhasa still uses LPG, which creates four times as much waste as LNG.

LPG is also more likely to poison people if it is not properly handled and used, said Xie.

"After Lhasa's supply of gas is delivered, we will supply natural gas to other prefectures of Tibet, such as Shannan, Nagqu, Xigaze, Nyingchi and Qamdo," said Xie.

The Yushu County natural gas station, the highest natural gas station in China, is perched at 3,778 meters above sea level and has been operating since Oct. 25, 2010. The gas station will receive gas supplies from the new LNG project, according to local authorities.

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