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Myanmar-China gas pipeline completed

Updated: 2013-10-20 23:18
By DU JUAN ( China Daily)

The Myanmar-China natural gas pipeline was completed on Sunday, further diversifying China's sources of fuel from abroad and ensuring its energy security.

It is China's fourth strategic energy supply channel, adding to the Russia-China oil pipeline, the Central Asia gas pipeline and the sea lane through the Malacca Strait.

As well as diversifying fuel sources, the Myanmar-China natural gas pipeline will ease the nation's gas shortages during busy periods.

The 2,520-kilometer pipeline starts at Kyaukpyu on Myanmar's western coast, enters China at Ruili in Yunnan province and ends at Guigang in the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region. It will provide natural gas to the southwestern provinces of Guangxi, Yunnan and Guizhou.

The three provinces have not had access to a natural gas pipeline until now, relying instead on liquefied natural gas from Sichuan province.

The pipeline, on which construction began in June 2010, has an annual delivery capacity of 12 billion cubic meters, and will deliver 10 billion cu m a year.

For the three Chinese provinces receiving the natural gas, the benefits will include cheaper domestic prices and greater energy supplies to the fuel industry.

By the end of 2014, industrial power consumption in Guangxi is expected to grow to around 100 times its current level, China National Radio reported. The average price of natural gas for residential use, meanwhile, will drop by 13 percent, which means a cut of around 0.5 yuan ($0.08) for each cubic meter.

Yunnan has been short of oil and gas for years, hindering the province's economic development. The new pipeline is expected to change the energy structure of the province, greatly improving the situation for industry.

Under the local government plan, by the end of 2015, Yunnan's natural gas sales volume is expected to reach 3 billion cu m, and the figure will grow to 7 billion cu m in 2020.

Myanmar is expecting to benefit from the pipeline too. In July, Myanmar Vice-President U Nyan Tun said it will have a positive impact on Myanmar's long-term development.

The pipeline will supply urban areas and industrial plants in Myanmar, boosting industry with cheap fuel.

An oil pipeline is under construction alongside the gas pipeline, and it will be completed by the end of the year, according to China National Petroleum Corp.

Altogether, Myanmar will draw 2 million metric tons of crude oil and 2 billion cu m of natural gas from the pipelines annually.

China is expected to import around 22 million tons of crude oil from the Myanmar channel each year.