As multiple Canadian pipeline projects linger in limbo, Russia and China have just turned on the taps on a natural gas behemoth long enough to connect Timmins, Ont., to Burnaby, B.C.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping brought the Power of Siberia pipeline, which will stretch 3,000 km from Siberia into northeast China, online Monday. The US$55 billion pipeline is expected to carry five billion cubic metres of natural gas into China in 2020, with production eventually ramping up and hitting 38 billion cubic metres by 2025.
The partnership between the two nations came in response to the sanctions levied on Russia following its annexation of Crimea. Brutalized by the financial sanctions in particular, Russia desperately needed to bring new capital into the country and China appeared to be an eager partner to supply it. The pipeline is expected to yield Russia US$400 billion over 30 years.
“This is a genuinely historical event not only for the global energy market but above all for us, for Russia and China,” said Putin, who watched the launch via video link from the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi.
“This step takes Russo-Chinese strategic cooperation in energy to a qualitative new level and brings us closer to (fulfilling) the task, set together with Chinese leader Xi Jinping, of taking bilateral trade to US$200 billion by 2024.”