This winter, gas shortage is no longer a headache for the Chinese government thanks to deals it signed with three central Asian countries in the past two years to boost the nation's gas supply.
The geographical advantage makes Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang in Northwest China, the first city to get the benefit. The gas reached the city through the pipeline at the end of December, just before the severe cold wave hit China, reports Xinhua.
As China's first large pipeline built to import natural gas, the China-Central Asia gas pipeline starts at the Turkmenistan-Uzbekistan border and runs through central Uzbekistan and southern Kazakhstan to China.
Wu Jianmin, an official of the municipal natural gas office in Urumqi, said the line's daily output to the city reached 50,000 cubic meters by Tuesday, but it will take another 10 days to provide a stable supply as the pipeline's pressure is still low.
The pipeline is connected with China's 8,653-kilometer No. 2 West-East gas pipeline in Holgos port, which is located at the China-Kasakstan border, to transport the gas to the whole country, including Hong Kong.
China National Petroleum Corp. (CNPC),the major developer of the pipeline, said Beijing, which is suffering from fuel shortage due to the heavy snow storm, is expected to get the gas around mid January.
The China-Central Asia gas pipeline will allegedly provide six billion cubic meters to China in 2010, and reach 30 billion cubic meters gradually in the next four years.