MOSCOW, Dec. 2 (Xinhua) -- The Russia-China east-route natural gas pipeline will diversify Russia's gas market while providing China with an alternative steady gas supplier, a Russian energy expert has said.
Alexey Belogorey, deputy executive director on energy studies of Russia's Institute for Energy and Finance Foundation, said this in a recent interview with Xinhua.
The Russian part of the project, or the 3,000-km Power of Siberia pipeline, is expected to pump 38 billion cubic meters of natural gas from Russia to China annually when it reaches full capacity, under a 30-year agreement between Russia's Gazprom and China National Petroleum Corp.
Chinese President Xi Jinping had a video call with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Monday afternoon, as the two heads of state jointly witnessed the launching ceremony of the China-Russia east-route natural gas pipeline.
"Upon the completion of the project, Russia has a new market while China has an alternative gas supplier," said Belogorey, adding that Russia's abundant gas resources could set up an "energy front" for the Chinese economy.
The expert said the project will not only promote the gas industry, but also boost the economy in Russia's Far East. "The Power of Siberia is very important for the infrastructure development of Irkutsk Region, Sakha Republic and Amur Region, so as to develop local industries and labour market."
Regarding Russia-China energy cooperation, Belogorey said Chinese companies have already participated in the Yamal liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in Arctic Russia and Arctic LNG-2 project, the two largest of its kind in Russia. Scientific and technological cooperation is also underway.
The two countries can jointly tap potential markets and "Russian companies could also build gas transmission grids and underground gas storage in China with their unique expertise in the field," said Belogorey.