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West-East gas pipe begins service

07-01-2011 11:02 BJT

When completed, second conduit will transport 30b cu m annually

BEIJING - China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC), the country's largest oil company by output, put its trunk line of China's second West-to-East natural gas pipeline into service on Thursday.

When fully completed in June 2012, the pipeline will be able to carry 30 billion cubic meters (cu m) of natural gas annually from Central Asia and the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region to the Yangtze River and Pearl River deltas.

The second West-to-East pipeline, comprising a main line and eight sublines, and required total investment of 142 billion yuan ($21.88 billion).

It is the world's longest pipeline project, with a combined length of 8,653 kilometers.

The eight sublines, one of which will carry natural gas to Hong Kong, will be completed by June 2012, said CNPC Vice-President Liao Youngyuan, according to the Xinhua News Agency.

By then, Hong Kong will have an annual natural gas supply of 1.5 to 2 billion cu m, and Guangdong province will have 10 billion cu m.

The western part of the second West-to-East pipeline began operations in December 2009, transferring natural gas from Central Asia to Xinjiang.

The entire project will eventually traverse 15 provinces and regions and provide 30 billion cu m of natural gas annually.

It will have a minimum lifespan of 30 years and will benefit more than 400 million people, the company said on its website.

The project is expected to conserve 76.8 million tons of coal and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 130 million tons and sulfur dioxide by 1.44 million tons.

China plans to build a third West-to-East gas pipeline project, allowing the transfer of more than 20 billion cu m of natural gas annually from Central Asia, Liao said.

He added that a fourth and possibly even a fifth pipeline may be constructed.

China's first West-to-East pipeline, which began operating in 2004, transferring gas from the Tarim Basin in Xinjiang to Shanghai, allows it to transfer 12 billion cu m of natural gas annually.

China intends to double natural gas use to around 8 percent of energy consumption by 2015 to reduce reliance on more polluting energy sources, such as oil and coal, conserve energy and cut greenhouse gas emissions.

The national gas demand may rise to 230 billion cu m in 2015, from the current 130 billion cu m.

Domestic production could climb 11 percent to 105 billion cu m this year, and imports could surpass 30 billion cu m, CNPC's listed arm, PetroChina, said in January.

PetroChina said it plans to spend an estimated 77.3 billion yuan on natural gas and pipeline development this year, a 44 increase percent from 53.6 billion yuan last year, according to the company's annual report.

Editor:Xiong Qu |Source: China Daily

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