China’s vice premier, Putin attend start of China-Russia gas pipeline construction

World Today

Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli (L, front) and Russian President Vladimir Putin attend a construction ceremony of the Russian part of the China-Russia East Route natural gas pipeline in Yakutsk, eastern Siberia, Russia on Sept. 1, 2014. (Xinhua/Wang Ye)

Construction on a China-Russia East Route natural gas pipeline started in Yakutsk, eastern Siberia as visiting Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli and Russian President Vladimir Putin witnessed the welding of the first roll of steel pipes Monday evening.

Some 500 people from China and Russia gathered on the Us-Khatyn field on the outskirts of the city for the ceremony. It was broadcast live throughout Russia.

Zhang said the East Route of the China-Russia natural gas pipeline is the second major on-land energy transport passage between China and Russia.

The construction and operation of the pipeline will provide secure and reliable clean energy for China’s economic development and a long-term stable market for the rich natural gas resources in Russia, Zhang added. The pipeline is also of great significance for the rejuvenation of the traditional industrial base in northeast China and Russia’s development of the Far East.

Putin thanked Chinese President Xi Jinping for his personal effort to advance the China-Russia gas pipeline project and said the pipeline is the largest construction project in the world. Russia will cooperate closely with the Chinese side to ensure the construction of the project remains on schedule.

According to a contract signed by China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) and Russia’s Gazprom, the Russian side will export 38 billion cubic meters of gas to China every year for a 30-year period starting from 2018. The Russian part of the joint venture pipeline, officially dubbed “Power of Siberia,” will be built by Gazprom with a total investment of $55 billion.

Report compiled with information from CCTV News and Xinhhua