Map of the “Power of Siberia” gas pipeline on which China and Russia are working

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Construction of the natural gas pipeline project in eastern China and Russia has moved far beyond the border provinces and extended to eastern China’s Jiangsu province, pictured here March 12, 2022.

Edition of the future | Edition of the future | Getty Images

BEIJING — China and Russia are in the final stages of building the first gas pipeline that can send gas from Siberia to Shanghai.

“Power of Siberia” – as the part located in Russia is called – started delivering natural gas to northern China in December 2019, according to Chinese state media.

In China, the pipeline crosses the eastern part of the country, passes the capital Beijing and descends to Shanghai. The middle phase began operations in December 2020 and the final southern section is expected to begin gas deliveries in 2025, state media said.

State-owned energy companies, Russia’s Gazprom and China National Petroleum Corp., have been building the pipeline for about eight years.

The China-Russia gas pipeline comes as Moscow faces the threat of losing natural gas purchases from the European Union, a major customer that aims to cut its Russian gas imports by two-thirds following the war in Ukraine.

China is seeking to diversify its energy sources. Beijing has refused to condemn Moscow for its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine in late February.

The scale of the China-Russia gas pipeline indicates that it is just one of many energy options for Beijing.

Although Russia would have invested 55 billion dollars In its pipeline deal with China, natural gas imports through the pipeline have totaled just $3.81 billion since December 2019, according to China Customs data in June, available via Wind Information.

The pace of Chinese purchases picked up in the first half of this year – nearly tripling from a year ago to $1.66 billion, the data showed.

But Chinese gas imports from Turkmenistan during this period were much higher at $4.52 billion, up 52% ​​from a year ago, the data showed.

Natural gas remains a tiny fraction of China’s energy imports, which consist mainly of crude oil.

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