China-Myanmar energy pipelines to lower costs

Updated: 2013-07-29 10:11


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Trade and economic cooperation between China and Myanmar have risen to a new level. The upcoming completion of the China-Myanmar oil and gas pipelines will significantly reduce the cost of China's energy imports and bring benefits to people in Myanmar.

Experts say China's energy security will be further guaranteed by the exploration of the new import route through Myanmar, and the pipelines will deepen regional economic integration and strengthen bilateral relations,

A pipeline connecting China to western Myanmar is ready to carry gas in the next couple of months.

Dr. Gao Zhikai from the China-Myanmar Friendship Association, who's also the director of the China National Association of International Studies, says the pipelines are China's most strategically important investment in Myanmar.

"It's a very important part of the overall China-Myanmar co-operation." Gao Zhikai said.

The multibillion-dollar pipeline stretches 870 kilometres and will be able to ship natural gas and petroleum all the way from the coastal port in Myanmar to China's Southwest Yunnan Province.

The designed annual capacity is 22 million tons for the oil pipeline and 12 billion cubic meters for the gas pipeline.

"It shorten the distance of transportation original go through the Malacca Strait." Gao Zhikai said.

Although Myanmar is among the world's oldest oil-producing countries, China's oil and gas companies did not start their exploration projects there until recently. Some western media have accused China of taking advantage of Myanmar's rich energy resources, but Dr. Gao disagrees.

"Actually I think the accusation is very far-fetched. First of all, the petroleum and gas will be shipped through the pipeline is not produced in Myanmar, its coming mostly from Middle-East, and actually Myanmar will benefit from the pipeline project because part of the project will ship to Myanmar." Gao Zhikai said.

"China and Myanmar have agreed on many issues regarding economic cooperation in recent years. Energy cooperation is one of the most significant areas. Experts estimate that the pipelines will satisfy a quarter of China's natural gas demand every year, and also bring about $1.5 billion to Myanmar each year, creating a win-win co-operation between the two countries." Xie Sisi said.

China-Myanmar energy pipelines to lower costs