Sila Sibiri (The Power of Siberia) — A 'Historic' Gas Pipeline
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Sila Sibiri (The Power of Siberia) — A 'Historic' Gas Pipeline

By IndraStra Global News Team

Map Attribute: Gazprom/Interfax

Map Attribute: Gazprom/Interfax

On December 2, 2019, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping launched a new China-Russia natural gas pipeline, via teleconference. The new pipeline, named "Sila Sibiri (The Power of Siberia)", connects a city in northeastern China with the Chayandinskoye field in Yakutia and the Kovyktinskoye field in the Irkutsk Region. It has the capacity to deliver 38 billion cubic meters of natural gas from Russia annually.

Other Russian representatives at the official ceremony included Dmitry Kozak, Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Russian part of the Russian-Chinese Intergovernmental Commission on Energy Cooperation, Energy Minister Alexander Novak and Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller who joined the event from the Atamanskaya compressor station in the Amur Region.

The 3,000-kilometer-long pipeline passes through the Irkutsk Region, the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) and the Amur Region. The pipeline runs partly within an integrated corridor with the second stage of the Eastern Siberia-Pacific Ocean oil pipeline. In Svobodny (Amur Oblast), the pipeline is connected to the Amur Gas Processing Plant. From there, the pipeline branches south to Blagoveshchensk on the Russia–China border and branches further east towards the port city of Vladivostok.

The pipeline is the outcome of a 30-year agreement (of US$ 400 billion) signed in May 2014 between the Russian government-owned Gazprom with the Chinese government-owned China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) to supply Russian gas to China via the eastern route. 

Construction of the pipeline at the Russian side was started on September 1, 2014. The launching ceremony was held near the village of Us Khatyn in Yakutia. Both, President Putin and Chinese Deputy Premier Zhang Gaoli attended the ceremony where the first sections of the pipeline are being welded together. Construction of the connecting pipeline in China started in June 2015.

On September 4, 2016, Gazprom's CEO Alexey Miller and China National Petroleum Corporation's Chairman Wang Yilin signed an agreement to build a crossing under the Amur River for the pipeline. The two tunnels, each 1,139 meters long, connect Heihe in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province and Blagoveshchensk in Russia. In March 2019, the construction of tunnels got completed.

The launch of "The Power of Siberia" pipeline comes amid continued wrangling over Nord Stream 2a western pipeline via the Baltic Sea to Germany. Currently, Russia's Gazprom racing to finish Nord Stream 2, which would allow Russia to supply gas to Europe while bypassing Ukraine. The under-construction pipeline is set to double Russian gas output across the Baltic to Europe. 

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