About 52 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas have been shipped by the Myanmar-China Gas Pipeline since it went into operation on July 28, 2013, meeting its designed transmission capacity, the Global Times learned.
As the project marks its 10th anniversary on Friday, industry insiders said that it has contributed to China’s energy diversification and boosted Myanmar’s economic development during the past 10 years.
As this year also marks the 10th anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), it has become a typical example of win-win cooperation under the BRI, and a demonstration of the “paukphaw” friendship between China and Myanmar.
“Natural gas shipped by the pipeline has been supplied to power stations and industrial companies in Myanmar, which ameliorated its electricity supply crunch, boosted its economic development and improved living standards,” Chinese state-owned oil giant China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) said in a statement sent to the Global Times on Thursday.
The company said that with downstream demand climbing, the pipeline will continue to supply clean energy for the development of the electricity and steel sectors.
The project is operated by two companies – South-East Asia Crude Oil Pipeline Co and South-East Asia Gas Pipeline Co – with CNPC taking a 50.9 percent stake in each.
As of December 2022, its shareholders’ return on investment had reached 165 percent.
The pipeline, with a length of 793 kilometers and a designed annual capacity of 5.2 bcm, runs from Myanmar to the border city of Ruili in Southwest China’s Yunnan Province. It has investment from six corporations from four countries – China, Myanmar, South Korea and India.
There are four processing stations in Myanmar, which together could download a maximum of 20 percent of the natural gas transported by the pipeline.
Construction of the project began in June 2010, and the pipeline was put into production on July 28, 2013. In September 2013, the pipeline started transporting natural gas to Myanmar, and it officially commenced commercial operations on December 1, 2013.
CNPC said that entering the operation period, the joint venture hired more than 1,000 people, with a localization rate of 80 percent.
A total of 295 Myanmar enterprises have participated in the construction and operation of the pipeline, which drives the development of local suppliers and service providers.
It is estimated that annual imports can account for 10 percent of China’s total natural gas imports by land. Industry insiders said the opening of the pipeline has guaranteed China’s energy security, especially making the energy supply in the southwestern region more reliable.