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China to Generate More Electricity with Natural Gas

China will see a drastic rise in the volume of electricity generated by gas burning in the years to come, says Weng Shilie, head of directors with the Shanghai Municipal Energy Research Society.

While addressing a two-day symposium on natural gas that opened Thursday, Weng, also a member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, said China would see its in stalled capacity increase from 319 million kw in 2000 to 960 million kw by 2020.

The volume of gas generated electricity will amount to 285 billion kw/hours by 2020, compared to 2.8 billion kw/hours in 2000.Gas powered installations generated 960,000 kw in 2000, accountingfor 0.3 percent of the national total, said Weng.

Along with completion of major projects such as the 4,000-km west-east gas pipeline, natural gas will play a bigger role in China's power generation, Weng went on.

The west-east gas pipeline project, with a total investment of over 200 billion yuan (24.1 billion US dollars), 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 is to carry 12 billion cubic meters of gas annually and is scheduled to go into full operation on Jan. 1, 2005.

In the meantime, the country will also see a fast rise in the volume of nuclear power. By the year of 2020, the volume of nuclear power generation will amount to 260 billion kw/hours, rising from 16.7 billion kw/hours in 2000.

China will be blessed with the establishment of a diverse energy structure following large-scale development of new energies, but it will face major differences in supply and demand because of rapid economic growth, said Weng.

Weng believed China's goal to quadruple its gross domestic product (GDP) for the 20 years from 2000 to 2020 has posed great challenges to the country's energy supply, but also brought impetus and opportunities to the country's energy sector.

The symposium on natural gas, under the auspices of the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Science and Technology, was undertaken by Shanghai-based Jiaotong University.

(Xinhua News Agency September 19, 2003)

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