‘Power of Siberia 2’ pipeline via Mongolia to further balance China’s gas import mix: experts
A tanker carrying 155,000 cubic meters of LNG arrives at Zhoushan port in east China’s Zhejiang province. The facility has received 100 LNG ships since August 2018. Data from the General Administration of Customs showed on Wednesday that LNG imports totaled 10.62 million tonnes in September, up 23% year on year. Photo: cnsphoto
The comments came after Mongolian Prime Minister Oyun-Erdene Luvsannamsrai told the Financial Times that he expects Russia to start construction of the “Power of Siberia 2” gas pipeline through Mongolia in 2024, while Moscow is preparing to connect its natural gas fields supplying Europe to Asia.
Although building such pipelines typically takes years, an energy infrastructure project of this scale has huge economic and political implications, experts said, as Russia’s feud with traditional customers in Europe s intensifies amid the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.
While Russia has largely refrained from using natural gas as an economic weapon, the supply of vital fuel has increasingly become a thorny issue as the tit-for-tat escalates between Russia and the US. US-led West.
Reuters reported on Monday that Russia’s Gazprom told European customers it could not guarantee gas supplies due to “extraordinary” circumstances, while the key Nord Stream 1 pipeline undergoes 10-day annual maintenance.
Faced with an energy crisis and economic downturn, the EU has turned to US LNG for relief. For the first time, Europe received more American gas in the form of LNG than Russian gas. The EU intends to wean itself off Russian fossil fuels by 2027, Western media have reported.
Planning for the ‘Power of Siberia 2’ has been under discussion for years, with two alternative routes, one entering China from Russia’s Far East and a western route connecting to the Xinjiang region in the northwest. from China.
Experts said the ‘Power of Siberia 2’, which has a reported capacity of 50 billion cubic meters (bcm) per year and is expected to enter service around 2030, will provide China with more supply alternatives in gas.
Jin Lei, a professor at Beijing-based China Petroleum University, told the Global Times on Tuesday that “Power of Siberia 2” will improve China’s natural gas supply, and that Russia will also benefit from having an additional customer in Mongolia.
China must also systematically expand its underground gas storage facilities to prepare for an increase in the volume of gas imports in the coming years, Jin said, noting that as Russia begins to increase supply gas by pipeline to China, storage capacity becomes an issue.
Chinese experts noted the irony in the US and UK suggesting that China could replace the EU’s role as the main user of Russian gas, after torpedoing the Nord Stream 2 project, completing the last year.
About half of China’s total natural gas consumption is imported, and about two-thirds of imported gas comes in the form of LNG. Australia represents 40% of Chinese LNG imports and the United States 10%.
China is the world’s largest importer of natural gas. As the shift from coal to gas continues and the country aggressively pursues carbon neutrality, China’s natural gas consumption in 2021 increased by 19.9% to 121.36 million tons. In value, natural gas imports reached 360 billion yuan ($53.4 billion) in 2021, up 56.3% from 2020. The price of the pipeline is considered relatively stable.
Russian gas exports to China through the “Power of Siberia” continued to increase in volume, and in the first six months of this year they increased by 63.4%, Sputnik reported on July 15. , citing Gazprom.