According to China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) Vice President Xu Wenrong, with joint efforts the Power of Siberia gas pipeline to carry Russian gas to China will be put into operation in 2020.
In 2014, Gazprom and chinese CNPC signed the Sales and Purchase Agreement for gas to be supplied via the the so-called eastern route (Power of Siberia). The 30-year agreement stipulates that 38 billion cubic meters of Russian gas will be annually supplied to China from the Yakutia and Irkutsk gas production centers.
In 2015, Gazprom and CNPC signed the Agreement to design and construct a cross-border section of the Power of Siberia gas pipeline, including its submerged crossing under the Amur River.
In the beginning of October 2016, speaking on the sidelines of the the St. Petersburg International Gas Forum, CNPC Vice-President Xu Wenrong said: «The Russia-China gas pipeline will become operational in 2019, in 2020 at the latest».
«The pipeline construction is on schedule», confirmed Russia's ambassador to China, Andrey Denisov on October 5, 2016.
Russia will be one of the main providers of the natural gas increasingly needed by China. The pipeline runs through swampy, mountainous and seismically hazardous areas with extreme natural and climatic conditions. All pipes used for the Power of Siberia construction are produced domestically.
Both countries plan to build another pipeline - Power of Siberia-2 or the western route that will deliver another 30 billion cubic meters of Russian natural gas to China.
China may increase imports of gas from the current 53 billion cubic meters per year to 190-270 billion as it aims to shift from coal to eco-friendly energy, said CNPC International Department head Li Yueqiang last month. According to him, last year China used 200 billion cubic meters of gas, of which a quarter was imported.