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Foreign Giants Vie for China's Gas Project
Four big foreign equipment companies have entered the final stage of a competition to supply power-generating equipment for 10 Chinese power plants from northwest to east China.

Natural gas will be used as the energy source of the 10 power plants and will be transported from the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in northwest China and pumped out from inshore gas fields.

The finalists are: America-based General Electric, France's Alstom, Germany's Siemens, and Japan's Mitsubishi. They got this far in the bidding process by passing previous qualification assessments by the project organizers.

A decision will be made by early next year, Friday's China Daily reported.

By 2006, all 23 generating units at the 10 plants will be able to produce power, bidding organizers say.

"The bid invitation signals that we have made a significant step forward in restructuring China's power structure," said JiangXinsheng, president of the China National Technical Import and Export Corporation, quoted by China Daily.

Officials with the State Development Planning Commission (SDPC)said the project is an essential part of China's west-to-east gas transportation project.

The public bidding for foreign giants is aimed at lowering construction and operation costs of the planned plants, which are mainly based in Beijing and coastal regions, said Liu Tienan, SDPC's director of the Industrial Development Department.

Earlier this month, China started the 8.9 billion US dollars pipeline project to transport gas from Tarim Basin in Xinjiang through eight provinces and regions to Shanghai in east China.

(Xinhua News Agency July 19, 2002)

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