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220b Yuan Needed for Natural Gas Industry by 2020

China will need 220 billion yuan (US$27 billion) invested in developing its natural gas industry by 2020, said an official with the State Development and Reform Commission (SDRC) on Monday.

Bai Rongchun, director of the SDRC's Energy Bureau, said at the eighth International Conference on Northeast Asian Natural Gas and Pipeline that China's natural gas industry was developing rapidly. The 220 billion yuan would be used to build 50,000 kilometers of pipelines, liquefied natural gas (LNG) stations and LNG transportation facilities.

The government was making a long-term plan to better exploit and utilize natural gas to speed up national energy security. Meanwhile, it would improve regulations and laws and set up an open and fair environment for both domestic and overseas investors.

By 2020, the country would need 200 billion cubic meters of natural gas, two-thirds of which would be used in power generation and urban fuels, 80 billion cubic meters more than the potential domestic supply. Therefore China was planning to pipe gas from other countries, including Russia, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan, while importing LNG for coastal areas, said Bai.

The government welcomed foreign investors to cooperate in the natural gas sector and had modified related regulations and loosened controls, said Bai.

The conference, which opened Monday, is being held by Northeast Asian Gas and Pipeline Forum, which is an international non-profit organization set up in 1997. The conference's major topics include natural gas resources, pipeline network construction, market, policies and cooperation.
(Xinhua News Agency March 9, 2004)

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