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Third line to boost gas supply

By Du Juan (China Daily)

08:11, October 17, 2012

China on Tuesday began the construction of its third pipeline that will send natural gas from the nation's resource-rich western regions to the energy-starved east.

The west-to-east gas pipeline, which will cost 125 billion yuan ($20 billion), is expected to transmit 30 billion cubic meters of gas annually.

It will help transport 25 billion cubic meters of natural gas every year from Central Asia and deliver 5 billion cubic meters of coal gas from the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region to central and eastern China, according to China National Petroleum Corp, which owns the project.

The 7,378-km pipeline will cross 10 provinces and autonomous regions, including Xinjiang, Gansu and Ningxia, having one trunk line, eight branch lines, three gas storage facilities and a liquid natural gas peak-shaving station.

The third pipeline, a project approved this year by the State Council, is expected to be completed before 2015.

"The completion of the project will help millions of people in the areas along the pipelines to use clean energy," said Vice-Premier Li Keqiang in a congratulatory letter. "It will improve China's energy structure and contribute to the country's target of reducing carbon emissions."

Meanwhile, the construction of the project will bring business opportunities to related industries such as equipment manufacturing and material technology, he said.

After completion, the project will be able to deliver 30 billion cubic meters of natural gas to the market every year, which will help raise the percentage of natural gas consumption in the country's primary energy use from the current 4.6 percent to 5.6 percent, said Liu Tienan, head of the National Energy Administration.

"Although the Chinese government is encouraging the development of shale gas, it takes time," he said. "In a very long time, China's natural gas supply will still rely on the imports."

The three main suppliers of imported natural gas delivered by the pipeline are Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. Coal gas from Xinjiang will be the supplementary source.

Liu said China's dependency on imported natural gas will rise to 30 percent this year and it will continue to increase.

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