Power of Siberia 2 Gas Pipeline

From Global Energy Monitor
This article is part of the Global Fossil Infrastructure Tracker, a project of Global Energy Monitor.
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Power of Siberia 2 Gas Pipeline (Russian: Сила Сибири - 2; Chinese: 西伯利亚力量-2号) is a proposed natural gas pipeline in Russia.[1] The extension in Mongolia is referred to as Soyuz Vostok (Russian: Союз Восток).

The pipeline was previously proposed to follow a different route into China, at which time it was referred to as the Altai Gas Pipeline.[2]

Location

The pipeline is proposed to run from the Bovanenkovovskoye and Kharasaveyskoye gas fields in Yamal, Russia through Urengoy, Krasnoyarsk Territory, Irkutsk Region, Buryatia and Transbaikalia.[1] It would pass close to Lake Baikal, crossing the border of Mongolia, pass by Ulan Bator, and go on to China.[3][4] It is expected that the pipeline will pass through the Irkutsk region along the route Zima - Sayansk - Cheremkhovo, after which it will turn to the Tunkinsky district of Buryatia, and pass through Kyakhta to the border with Mongolia.[4]

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Location, Power of Siberia 2–Sayansk Branch Pipeline

The pipeline was proposed to run from Power of Siberia 2 to Sayansk.[5] Since a new route has been proposed in 2022 which would go through Sayansk, we consider this pipeline's proposal cancelled.[4][6]

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Location, Soyuz Vostok Pipeline Extension

The pipeline will cross the Russian-Mongolian border in the town of Kyakhta, run through the territory of Mongolia, go on to China and, potentially, end in Shanghai.[7][8]

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Project Details

Project Details, Power of Siberia 2–Sayansk Branch Pipeline

Project Details, Soyuz Vostok Pipeline

Background

A memorandum on deliveries of Russian natural gas to China was signed by Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller and China National Petroleum Corp. (CNPC) CEO Chen Geng during the Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit to China in March 2006.[15][2] The project was put on hold due to disagreements over natural gas prices and competition from other gas sources in the Chinese market.[16][17]

In 2013, Gazprom and CNPC agreed to instead pursue a more eastern route, the Power of Siberia gas pipeline.[18][19] Planning for this project occurred at the 2014 APEC China summit.[20][21][21] In November 2014, CNPC signed a preliminary agreement with Gazprom for construction of the $300 billion Altai gas pipeline (a western route) that was to deliver 30 bcm of gas per year for 30 years from western Siberia in Russia to China's Xinjiang region.[22] In July 2015 the pipeline was indefinitely postposed by Russia due to a slowdown in the Chinese economy.[22]

Chinese and Russian officials revived the project in 2019.[23] In March 2019, the Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli urged Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller to accelerate the development of the pipeline.[24] In September 2020, Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller and Mongolian Prime Minister Ukhnaagiin Khurelsukh signed a letter of intent to develop a pipeline with a capacity of 50 bcm/yr.[25]

Recent developments

The original route of the pipeline was through the Altai mountains towards Xinjiang. In September 2019, China had expressed a preference for routing the line through Mongolia instead of Xinjiang, a new route was proposed through Ulan Bator in the Mongolian steppes and in the direction of Beijing in China.[12] In April 2021, Gazprom approved the preliminary technical and economic analysis (feasibility study) of the proposed pipeline. This analysis proposed the optimal route, length, diameter, operating pressure, and quantity of compressor stations.[1]

Preparations to develop the line’s Mongolian section have also begun.[12] The government of Mongolia and Gazprom have signed a memorandum of understanding in December 2019 which established a joint working group. In May 2020, Gazprom began the design and survey work for the pipeline on the territory of the Russian Federation.[9]

In January 2021, Gazprom has registered a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) company "Soyuz Vostok Gas Pipeline" in Mongolia.[9] The company was established between Gazprom and the government of Mongolia in order to carry out design and survey work and develop a feasibility study for the construction of the pipeline[9] including a detailed calculation of investment and operating costs.[1] In February 2021, the company expected results of the study to be available as early as the first quarter of 2021.[12] On March 11, 2021, the plan of activities of the joint working group for 2021–2022 was approved.[1]

According to the Gazprom's CEO, results of the feasibility study were approved by the parties in January 2022.[10] As the next step, the Soyuz Vostok Gas Pipeline Special Purpose Company and Gazprom Proektirovanie signed an agreement to carry out design and survey work as part of the construction of the gas pipeline. The document provides for the involvement of Mongolian companies for geodetic engineering, environmental engineering and archaeological surveys.[10] The front-end engineering design of the pipeline facilities was expected to be conducted jointly by Gazprom and the Mongolian government in 2022 and 2023.[10] In April 2022, Gazprom's representatives in Mongolia held a series of meetings with the local authorities of aimags (regions) which would be impacted by the pipeline.[26]

In May 2023, Gazprom reported that the front-end engineering design of the Soyuz Vostok gas pipeline was at the final stage, and the joint working group of the Mongolian government and Gazprom on the implementation of the memorandum of understanding had met in Ulan-Bator. The meeting participants discussed the progress of the design and survey works for the construction, which could start in 2024. The gas pipeline may be launched in 2027-2028.[11]

The Power of Siberia 2 pipeline and the Soyuz Vosotok pipeline were listed in the Gazprom's 2022 Annual Report as "prospective gas export routes".[27] The Power Siberia 2 pipeline was also included in the list of "Planned Transmission Gas Pipelines" issued by the Ministry of Energy of Russia in May 2015 and revised in May 2023.[28] However, the document still mentions the old route for the pipeline through Altai.

For Russia, the construction of the Power of Siberia-2 is the only way to compensate for at least part of the EU market it has lost since the invasion of Ukraine. That market accounted for most of the gas produced from the Yamal peninsula. However, as of July 2023, no official agreement with China on the construction of the pipeline has been signed.[29]

In September 2023, the decision for the Power of Siberia-2 gas pipeline's route was at the final stage. Gazprom wanted to start delivering gas by 2030. China and Russia had yet to agree on the terms of gas deliveries via the route, including pricing. Negotiations were reported to be complex, not least because China is not expected to need more gas until after 2030.[13]

In December 2023, Russian Prime Minister Alexander Novak mentioned in the media that the final economic and commercial terms for the "Power of Siberia-2" project between Gazprom and China's CNPC were being finalized. Additionally, project and survey work for laying the "Power of Siberia-2" section through the territory of Mongolia was ongoing. The Russian government was planning to finalize the review and sign the contract for the construction of the pipeline in the near future.[30] In June 2024, it was reported that Moscow and Beijing were unable to reach an agreement on gas supplies via the pipeline. According to the source, China requested a price close to the domestic Russian rate. It is also claimed that China wants to purchase small volumes of fuel while the pipeline is designed to transport 50 bcm/year.[31][32] Another obstacle to the project implementation is China’s concern is that increased dependence on Russia would undermine the country’s energy security strategy.[33]

Route

Proposed route through Mongolia to China

P0734, P2352, P2353.png

The original route of the pipeline was through the Altai mountains towards Xinjiang.[34][35][36] In September 2019, China had expressed a preference for routing the line through Mongolia instead of Xinjiang, a new route was proposed through Ulan Bator in the Mongolian steppes and in the direction of Beijing in China.[12]

The 2,594 km (1,612 mi) long pipeline would start from the Bovanenkovskoye and Kharasaveyskoye gas fields in Yamal.[3] A new pipeline corridor would have to be built after Urengoy,[37] passing through the Krasnoyarsk Territory, Irkutsk Region, Buryatia and Transbaikalia.[3] It is expected that the pipeline will pass through the Irkutsk region along the route Zima - Sayansk - Cheremkhovo, after which it will turn to the Tunkinsky district of Buryatia, pass through Kyakhta and run through Mongolia.[4][6] It has also been reported that one of the new route options being considered by Gazprom includes the pipeline passing directly through the Tunkinsky National Park in Buryatia, Russia which might be problematic due to environmental concerns.[38]

Currently there are no existing gas corridors on this route.[37] The pipeline would then pass close to Lake Baikal, near which it would cross the border of Mongolia, pass by Ulan Bator, and go on to China. Later on, there is a possibility of an additional segment being constructed to connect the Power of Siberia and Power of Siberia 2.[39] In China, near Yongqing / Beijing, the pipeline may connect to the Russia-China East Line Domestic Extension Phase III (Yongqing - Shanghai) gas pipeline currently under construction.[40][41] Another media source mentions the end location in Shanghai.[8]

In September 2023, it was reported that the proposed gas pipeline would run near the cities of Achinsk, Krasnoyarsk, Kansk, Sayansk, Angarsk, Irkutsk, and then through the territory of the Republic of Buryatia (south of Lake Baikal) to the state border of Russia near the settlement of Naushki. Additionally, there was a project under consideration for the construction of a branch pipeline from the settlement of Naushki to Ulan-Ude and further to Chita, with a total length of 700 km.[42]

Power of Siberia 2–Sayansk Branch Pipeline

There would also be a section of a pipeline running from Power of Siberia 2 route to Sayansk where it would connect to other proposed pipeline systems including the Sayansk–Angarskaya Gas Pipeline and the Kovykta-Sayansk-Irkutsk Gas Pipeline. The route appears on a 2020 Gazprom natural gas network development map.[5] Since a new route has been proposed in 2022 which would go through Sayansk, we consider this pipeline's proposal cancelled.[4][6]

Technical description

The diameter of the pipeline would be 1,420 mm (56 in).[12] The designed capacity of the pipeline would be between 50[9][10] to 80 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas annually. This estimate is based on a statement that the new pipeline’s capacity would be 1.3 times higher than the capacity of the Power of Siberia pipeline. The capacity of the Power of Siberia pipeline is 60 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually.[1] The pipeline would be built and operated by Gazprom with support from the Mongolian government.[1]

Environmental and social impacts

The pipeline project was originally criticized by environmental organizations because it would go through the Ukok Plateau, which is the natural habitat of the snow leopard and other endangered species. Altai national leaders also feared that laying the pipeline and accompanying technical highway would pave way for a Chinese expansion into Altai; the pipeline route would have also impacted burial sites and shrines in the region.[43]

The new route would not go through the Ukok Plateau but instead pass through the Mongolian steppes where it would be less challenging to complete construction than in the mountainous area of the Altai mountains.[44] However, the new route will pass through a seismically active region which may pose new issues; on January 12, 2021, there was an earthquake 8.7 in magnitude in Mongolia, approximately 100-200 km from the proposed pipeline route. High seismic activity in the region may make the implementation of the project even more costly than originally planned.[9]

In November 2021, ecologists in Mongolia raised concerns about this project. Gazprom Proektirovanie, the firm tasked with the design and survey work for the pipeline, ordered aerial photography of the proposed - but not yet approved - route that may pass through the Tunkinsky National Park in Buryatia, Russia. The length of the pipeline passing through the park would be 125 km, and it would cross the park in the very middle, which would mean that particularly valuable natural area would be split in two. This would have significant impact on the flora and fauna of the park.[38]

Articles and resources

References

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Wikipedia also has an article on Altai gas pipeline (Altai gas pipeline). This article may use content from the Wikipedia article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License].