The West-East gas pipeline project, begun in July 2002, to build China's longest gas pipeline, will be ready for a trial run on Oct. 1 this year.
Vice-Premier Zeng Peiyan said Tuesday that preparations were going well for the operation of the pipeline linking China's economic hub of Shanghai and Changqing gas field, in Jingbian, northwest China's Shaanxi Province.
The gas field will start to pump gas through the pipeline on Oct. 1 and in November a trial supply will start in Shanghai, Zhengzhou in the central Henan Province, and the eastern areas of Hefei in Anhui Province, Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, and Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province.
The project was of great significance for energy supply in east and central China, development of west China and restructuring of the country's energy consumption, Zeng said at a meeting of the government office in charge of project construction held Tuesday.
The West-East Gas Pipeline Project, with a total investment of over 200 billion yuan (US$24.1 billion), is designed to carry natural gas from the Tarim Basin in northwest Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and Changqing gas field in Shaanxi to eastern provinces.
The pipeline, to run 4,000 km, is to carry 12 billion cubic meters of gas annually and scheduled to go into full operation on Jan. 1, 2005.
More than 3,400 km of pipeline have been built, including the eastern section linking Shanghai and Jingbian, said Ma Fucai, chairman of the board of PetroChina Co. Ltd., the listed arm of China's largest oil and gas producer, China National Petroleum Corporation.
Changqing gas field, able to produce 4.8 billion cubic meters of gas annually, has an estimated 1.1 trillion cubic meters reserves and 751 billion cubic meters are available for exploitation.
The western section of the pipeline, linking the Tarim Basin with eastern provinces, is under construction.
The Tarim Basin, the main gas source of the project, has estimated reserves of 545.7 billion cubic meters and 390.6 billion are already available.
Zeng said it was important to guarantee the quality of the rest of the project while expanding the gas market in eastern provinces.
The project company, attached to PetroChina Co. Ltd., has been negotiating purchase contracts with 25 prospective company users since July this year and has signed draft contracts with 19.
BASF-YPC Co. Ltd., based in east China's Jiangsu Province, Shanghai Natural Gas Pipeline Networks Co. Ltd. and Zhejiang Natural Gas Development Co. Ltd. in east China's Zhejiang Province signed draft contracts to buy gas Tuesday.
Another ten companies were standing in line for talks, said RenKui, vice-manager of marketing and sales of the company.
The 35 companies are likely to buy 2.1 billion cubic meters of natural gas from the project in 2004 and 12 billion in 2009, he added.
(People’s Daily September 17, 2003)