Gazprom starts Power of Siberia deliveries to China

Cheryl Sanders
December 4, 2019

Russian Federation on Monday opened a pipeline to transport natural gas from Siberia to northeast China, in a shift of market focus from West to the East and giving a boost to economic and political ties with Beijing. Moscow however remains a key gas provider to Europe and is also planning to soon launch two more pipelines that will ramp up supplies to the continent while bypassing Ukraine - TurkStream and Nord Stream 2. "More than a trillion cubic meters of gas will be delivered to China through the Power of Siberia pipeline over 20 years".

Alexei Miller, head of Russian gas giant Gazprom which championed the project, said almost 10 000 people had worked to build the enormous pipeline. The new conduit will transport gas from fields in East Siberia to the domestic market and for export to China.

"Gas will flow to China", Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said earlier.

The 2,200-kilometer (1,367-mile) pipeline will carry gas from the Irkutsk and Yakutia gas production centers to consumers in Russia's Far East and China. The pipeline posed an engineering challenge, traversing swamps, rocky mountains, areas prone to earthquakes and regions of permafrost where the temperature fell to minus-58 degrees last winter.

The pipeline, he continued, "takes Russia-China energy cooperation to a whole new level and brings us closer to achieving the goal set together with Chinese President Xi Jinping of extending bilateral trade turnover to $200 billion in 2024".

Work has also been completed on the first road bridge between Russian Federation and China, further linking the two neighbours.

Xi said the project "serves as a model of... mutually beneficial cooperation between our countries".

Friendly Russian-Chinese ties have been gradually developing based on the principles of transparency and mutual respect, Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev said.

"This year the United States and some other Western countries have increased their interference in the internal affairs of China and Russian Federation, threatened the sovereign security of the two countries, and impeded their economic and social development", he said, according to the official Xinhua News Agency. "Now the main direction of our gas and oil is Europe".

The project is significant for, as they are facing sanctions from the U.S., CNBC said.

Nord Stream-2, which would double gas volumes to Germany, is expected to go online in mid2020, though it has faced opposition from the United States and countries in central and eastern Europe, particularly Ukraine.

A second gas pipeline being built from Russian Federation to Turkey, TurkStream, also would bypass Ukraine, supplying Turkey and southern Europe.

According to this report, in 2018, the country's apparent consumption of natural gas reached 280.3 billion cubic meters, up 17.5 percent year on year.

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