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New sources to ease Beijing energy shortage
By Li Jin (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-08-05 05:50

Energy-guzzling Beijing has been desperately searching for new sources of natural gas to fuel its buzzing economy after the city suffered from winter shortages, when demand peaked.

This file photo shows the Shanxi section of the Second Shaanxi-Beijing Line, a natural gas pipeline, was under construction last August. The line began operations last month. It is one of the three new channels that bring the relatively clean energy to the capital. [newsphoto]
New channels that will bring the relatively clean energy to the capital include two overland gas pipelines and a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal, according to the Beijing Municipal Commission of Development and Reform.

One of these pipelines is the Second Shaanxi-Beijing Line, which began operations last month, said Liu Yinchun, who is in charge of infrastructure construction for the commission.

The 900-kilometre pipeline has the capacity to transfer up to 12 billion cubic metres of natural gas annually from oilfields in Northwest China's Shaanxi Province to the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, which is crying out for the fuel. Nearly 6 billion cubic metres has been earmarked for the capital, Liu said.

The First Shaanxi-Beijing Line, which was opened in late 1997 and carries 2.5 billion cubic metres to Beijing annually, was previously the only artery transporting natural gas to the city.

But Beijing's fast-growing demand has overtaken the first line's supply, even when operating at maximum capacity.

During the winter the city had to reduce industrial and motor vehicle gas consumption to lessen the impact of the shortage crisis, which was more serious than it had been in 20 years.

"With the help of the second line, the city's demand for natural gas in the coming winter will surely be satisfied," Liu said.
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