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China Launches Project to Pipe Gas from West to East

[WTN-L World Tibet Network News. Published by The Canada Tibet Committee. Issue ID: 00/06/20; June 20, 2000.]

4 May 2000

(People's Daily is an official publication of the People's Republic of China)

People's Daily

17 June 2000

China's huge energy project to pipe gas from west to east, expected to cost as much as the Three Gorges Project, will be launched in early 2001 and should end by 2003.

A major gas pipeline with total length of 4,200 kilometers will be built with initial 120-billion yuan investment for the project, according to Huang Yicheng, chairman of the executive council of the China Energy Research Society (CERS) in Beijing.

The project, as the first major component of developing the country's western regions, will start from the Tarim Basin in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and end in Shanghai, running through the provinces Gansu, Shaanxi, Shanxi, Henan, Anhui and Jiangsu and the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.

The project is designed to send gas from the country's major gas production bases in the western and central parts to the economically-developed Yangtze River Delta areas as well as the eastern regions.

Huang said natural gas will play a very important role in the country's energy development strategy for the 21st century, with gas utilization accounting for eight percent of China's energy consumption instead of the present two percent.

He expects the country's peak annual gas output in the new century to hit between 110 billion and 130 billion cubic meters, with production centering on the rich gas-bearing regions of Xinjiang and Shaanxi-Gansu-Ningxia.

The expert held that the gas-piping project will not only tap the huge potential of resources in the west, but will also help readjust the industrial structures in the provinces and cities along the lengthy pipeline.

In addition, it will bring about the development of petrochemical, iron and steel and building materials sectors.

The pipeline-laying is a key part of the project, the expert said, adding that the investment on the fixed assets of the trunk line is estimated at 38.4 billion yuan. The total length of the gas pipeline, including both the trunk and branch lines, will reach 8,000 kilometers.

Once the line is completed, the related projects in the east will be built. Their total cost is nearly 70 billion yuan, the expert said.

In line with China's gas development strategy, a comprehensive gas pipeline network will take shape nationwide in the 21st century, linking gas production bases in the west with the developed areas in the Yangtze River and Zhujiang River delta areas in the east, as well as with the industrial bases in the northern and northeastern parts of the country.

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