Work on the Mongolian section of Russia’s gas pipeline to China will start in the first half of next year, reports Russian news agency Tass.
It quoted Viktoria Abramchenko, a deputy prime minister, as saying the design would be finalised in that period, and that construction would start soon after.
The Soyuz Vostok pipeline is an extension of the 6,700km Power of Siberia 2 system, a network of pipelines that will run from the vast Yamal gas field in the Russian Arctic to Russia’s Mongolian border.
It will begin at the border town of Kyakhta, run through Mongolia into China, and may end in Shanghai sometime in 2030.
The Mongolian section will be 963km long and 1,400mm in diameter, with five compressor stations. It will be able to supply up to 50 billion cubic metres of gas a year, roughly 14% of China’s annual consumption.
Together with Power of Siberia 1, China will rely on Russia for 20% of its gas supply.
The manufacturing and construction work is expected to be carried out by Russian contractors. The project is expected to employ some 12,000 builders at its peak, of which 20-50% are expected to be hired locally.