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China, Australia Sign Major Natural Gas Supply Agreements
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Liquefied natural gas (LNG) sale and purchase agreements between China and Australia were signed Friday in Canberra.

The agreements worth US$13.75 billion is the biggest in Australia's history of business.

According to the agreements, the North West Shelf Venture of Australia will sell 3.3 million tons of LND a year for 25 years starting from 2005 to China's Guangdong Province.

Australian Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane attended the signing ceremony on behalf of Prime Minister John Howard who is in Bali. Macfarlane hailed the event as a clear proof of the mature relationships between Australia and China.

The minister announced a 25 million Australian dollars (US$14 million) Australia Gas Technology Partnership Fund to boost the China's energy relationship with Australia. "It demonstrates our desire for a long-term partnership between China and Australia on energy," he said.

Zhang Guobao, deputy chairman of the Chinese government's planning committee said the future of cooperation between China and Australia in the energy resources field is bright. The Chinese government has decided to largely expand the energy sector while Australia possesses rich resource of gas, he added.

(Xinhua News Agency October 18, 2002)

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