Foreign investors allowed to control main stake in Chinese West-East gas pipeline project

Jul 12, 2000 02:00 AM

Foreign investors will be allowed to control the main stake in West-East Natural Gas Transportation Pipeline Project and to contribute funding to other urban gas pipeline construction.
Zhang Guobao, vice-minister in charge of the Chinese State Development Planning Commission, told that the new policy fully demonstrates the central government's determination to open wider to the outside and to push its entry into the World Trade Organisation.
The state will not approve solely state-owned investment in the pipeline project, which is estimated to cost 40 bn yuan, in a bid to make foreign-controlled investment possible, with no ceiling set for their share-holding percentage, the official said.
The West-East Natural Gas Transportation Pipeline Project is the most ambitious ever undertaken by the central government in its effort to developing the vast western areas.

In addition to favourable policies given to infrastructure construction, the pipeline project also enjoys favourable policiesearmarked for the westward strategy, including fee cuts and exemptions in mineral exploration and mining, tax-free imports of related equipment, and land-use.
The Tarim Basin of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region is estimated to have 8.39 tcm of natural gas resources, 494.1 bn cm of which have been verified, sufficient for 12 bn cm of annual gas transportation in the early stage of the project.
Proven gas reserves are expected to reach a level in the next decade to guarantee for gas supply for 30 years and a precondition for 20 bn cm of gas transportation in the future, said Ma Fucai, general manager of China Petroleum.
Construction of the pipeline is scheduled to start next year and be completed in 2003, he added.

Source: Xinhua via Newspage
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