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|Friday, March 23, 2001, updated at 15:46(GMT+8)|
Environment Impact of West-east Gas Pipeline Under AssessmentThe State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) is busy shaping a report on the potential impact on the environment caused by a planned 4,200- kilometer gas pipeline from West China to the East.
The west-east gas pipeline project is China's second-largest infrastructure project next to the Three Gorges Dam project. Its construction will start in the first half of this year and be put into operation by 2003.
The impact is to be quite complicated as the gas pipeline will start from the desert-dominated Xinjiang in northwest China to Shanghai, a coastal metropolis in the east, said Mou Guangfeng, an official with the SEPA.
The pipeline will run through deserts, highlands, grassland, forests, wetlands and also farmland in seven provinces in China.
The government will evaluate the negative influence the project may have and find out the solution, Mou added. A general report has been drawn up and approved.
The project has to deal with soil erosion when it runs through the loess highlands. Loose earth and deserted coal mines there may get pipelines in trouble, he said.
The West-east gas pipeline project will provide 12 to 20 billion cubic meters of natural gas to provinces around the Yangtze Delta after it is put into operation. This will greatly change the energy consumption mix and improve the air quality there.
About 120 billion yuan is to be invested in the first phase of the project.
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