Russia Activates Major Pipeline to China
Earlier this month, Russia brought onstream the gas pipeline known as the “Power of Siberia,” which runs around 1,800 miles between both Russia and China, in a move that reportedly further solidifies economic and political ties between the two countries. The event was witnessed by both Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
According to Xinhua, Xi told Putin over video call that the endeavor is “a landmark project of China-Russia energy cooperation and a paradigm of deep convergence of both countries' interests and win-win cooperation.”
Operated by Russia-owned company Gazprom, the $55 billion Power of Siberia is slated to deliver 38 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year by 2024.
As it stands, the eastern route of the pipeline provides gas from the Chayandinskoye field to both Russia Far East customers, as well as customers in China. In 2022, the pipeline’s provisions will be supplemented by additional fuel from the Kovyktinskoye field. The diameter of the Russia pipeline is 1,420 millimeters (roughly 55 inches), according to Gazprom.
Russia has switched on the "Power of Siberia," an enormous gas pipeline to China worth billions of dollars, affirming increasingly close economic and political ties between the two countries. https://t.co/rLWdcJO1i3— CNN International (@cnni) December 3, 2019
Back in May 2014, Gazprom and China National Petroleum Corporation signed a 30-year agreement for gas delivery, and later that same year, in September, Gazprom commenced construction on the first section of the project, which ran over 2,000 kilometers from the Chayandinskoye field to Blagoveshchensk, which is along the Chinese border. Another 800 kilometers of pipeline, which is slated to be brought online by late 2022, will connect the Kovyktinskoye field to the Chayandinskoye field. The third phase of the project includes expanding capacities between Chayandinskoye and Blagoveshchensk.
Over the next few years, Gazprom and CNPC continued work, including signing for the construction of a crossing under the Amur River. The pipeline is slated to reach providing 5 billion cubic meters of gas in 2020, and will increase to 38 billion cubic meters annually from 2024.
According to CNN, though financial details have not been disclosed, current estimates indicate that the 30-year deal is worth more than $400 billion. By 2022, the fuel moving through the pipeline will account for 10% of China’s gas supply, which will also help strengthen energy security for Beijing.
Over the past few years, China has been moving to get away from coal in its energy usage due to ongoing severe issues with air pollution as well as concerns over carbon emissions. It is currently estimated that the country will overtake the EU as the topmost user of solar panels as early as 2021.
The recent pipeline project development also marks 70 years since diplomatic ties were developed between Beijing and Moscow, though the relationship has remained tense at times. Putin has also claimed that Russia will provide China with 1 trillion cubic meters of natural gas to China over the next 30 years.
According to Forbes, Russia holds roughly 20% of the world’s total amount of gas.
“Today, we are witnessing a historic event for Russia and China," said Alexey Miller, Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee. "The eastern route—Power of Siberia—is a global, strategically significant and mutually beneficial project. A new scope of energy cooperation between the two countries with a prospect for further development. Clean energy today and tomorrow, for decades to come."