(Yicai Global) Dec. 13 -- Welding work on 11 joints along the northern section of the China-Russia East-Route Natural Gas Pipeline started today, signaling that China National Petroleum Corp. will step up construction of the project's Chinese section.
The northern section of the pipeline will begin operating in October 2019 and become fully operational in 2020.
Chinese and Russian leaders initiated the major strategic project. The countries signed a 30-year supply contract worth USD400 billion in 2014, under which China will import 38 billion cubic meters of natural gas from Russia annually.
The 3,371-kilometer Chinese section, which consists of northern, middle and southern links, starts from the China-Russia border in Heilongjiang province and ends in Shanghai, passing through nine Chinese provinces. Construction of this part began in June 2015. It is set to become the long-distance natural gas pipeline with the largest diameter and highest pressure in China.
Russian imports will boost China's natural gas supply. This will help China use less coal and cut carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and dust emissions by 163.78 million tons, 1.82 million tons, 460,000 tons and 840,000 tons, respectively.