BEIJING (Reuters) - China imported 840 million cubic meters of natural gas by Feb. 25 through the “Power of Siberia” pipeline, launched in December, or an average of 10 million cubic meters daily, state-run Xinhua news agency said late Wednesday.
The 3,000-km (1,900-mile) pipeline supplies natural gas from Russia’s Siberian fields to China’s coal-burning northeastern rust belt region, aiming to replace dirty coal with cleaner fuel.
The pipeline, which will deliver gas under a 30-year, $400 billion deal signed in 2014, has the potential to transform northeast China’s energy landscape and even slow the country’s surging imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG).
Russia’s Gazprom is set to supply 5 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas this year, or about 13.7 million cubic meters per day, China’s commerce ministry says.
The supply of natgas is expected to rise to 10 bcm in 2021 and 15 bcm by 2022.
The coronavirus outbreak that has killed more than 2,700 and infected 78,000 in mainland China has dampened gas consumption because of extended Lunar New Year holidays and travel curbs that disrupted transport.
From Jan. 24 through Feb. 19, China imported 250 million cubic meters gas via the pipeline, an equivalent of 9.26 million cubic meters per day, Xinhua added.
Reporting by Muyu Xu and Chen Aizhu, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips