The Power of Siberia pipeline’s construction has been officially launched in China. Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev took part in the ceremony in the mode of video conference from Moscow.
The ceremony was marked by welding of the first pipe joint of the pipeline
On May 21, 2014, Russia’s natural gas monopoly Gazprom and China’s CNPC signed an agreement of the purchase and sale of gas on the "Eastern route." The contract, signed for 30 years, envisages the supply of Russian gas to China in the amount of 38 billion cubic meters per year. The "Eastern route" provides for the delivery to China of gas from the Yakutia and Irkutsk gas production centers through the Power of Siberia main pipeline.
On May 8, Gazprom and China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) signed an agreement on the basic conditions of gas supplies from Russia to China through the "western route".
Preparations for the launch of the gas pipeline which Moscow considers as a breakthrough project, is discussed at the highest level. So, this subject was addressed at talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
According to the Russian president, "the next stage will be the supply of natural gas to China on the ‘Western route’ - through the Altai main gas pipeline."
The Altai pipeline will link gas fields in Western Siberia with China; it will be some 2,700 km long and have capacity of about 30 billion cubic meters a year, with further increase to 100 billion cubic meters.
The Power of Siberia is a gas transportation system to deliver gas the Yakutsk and Irkutsk gas production centers in Siberia to Russia’s Far East and China. The pipeline’s capacity will be 61 billion cubic meters per year. The pipe’s total length is 3, 968 km. The estimated construction cost is $21.3 bln. The pipeline route will run along the existing route of the Eastern Siberia - Pacific Ocean oil pipeline, though swampy, mountainous and seismically active areas.