A key construction project of the China-Russia east-route natural gas pipeline was completed on Saturday. It will allow Russian gas to cross the Yangtze River to reach Shanghai, laying the foundation for the full completion of the landmark China-Russia energy cooperation project.
The under-river tunnel across the Yangtze River, a key control project of the pipeline, was completed after 28 months of construction, according to PipeChina.
The tunnel has a length of 10.226 kilometers and is designed with three natural gas pipelines with a diameter of 1,422 millimeters each, according to media reports.
By adopting environmental protection measures such as a mud-water balanced shield and sealed shipping of wastes, the project builders made every effort to protect the wetland along the banks and the ecology of the Yangtze River.
The completion of the project moves a step nearer to the full operation of the China-Russia east-route gas pipeline and is conductive to secure China's energy supply amid rising global prices, Lin Boqiang, director of the China Center for Energy Economics Research at Xiamen University, told the Global Times on Sunday.
The whole pipeline is scheduled to provide China with 38 billion cubic meters of Russian natural gas annually from 2024 under a 30-year contract worth $400 billion under a deal signed between the China National Petroleum Corp and Russian gas giant Gazprom in May 2014, according to the Xinhua News Agency.
The Yangtze tunnel is the key to the east-route natural gas pipeline, which is expected to be completed and put into operation in 2025, media reports said.
The full pipeline spans more than 8,000 kilometers, with a 3,000-kilometer section in Russia and a 5,111-kilometer stretch in China.
The northern section from Heihe, Northeast China's Heilongjiang Province to Changling in Northeast China's Jilin Province was put into use in 2019. The middle section from Changling to Yongqing in North China's Hebei Province became operational in 2020.
"The project offers a successful example of mutual benefit and win-win international cooperation, and it combines the advantages of Russia's abundant resources with China's vast market," Lin said.
Lin noted that in the context of the Ukraine crisis and China's effort to optimize the country's energy consumption structure, there should be greater opportunities for China-Russia cooperation in the future.
Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng on Tuesday called for deeper China-Russia energy cooperation at the opening ceremony of the fourth China-Russia Energy Business Forum.
China and Russia should forge a closer energy cooperation partnership, and make greater contributions to improving the well-being of the two peoples and promoting global energy security and sustainable development, Han said.