On 12 April, Gazprom approved the feasibility study for the project to build the Soyuz Vostok gas pipeline for supplies from Russia to China via Mongolia.
The study outlined the project’s main technical and technological parameters, determining in particular, the optimal route of the gas pipeline through Mongolia, its length, pipe diameter, working pressure and the number of compressor stations built along the route.
The feasibility study on the construction of the Soyuz Vostok gas pipeline (including a detailed calculation of investment and operating costs), as planned, will be completed by the end of the year. This is included in the action plan of the joint working group of Gazprom and the Mongolian government. The feasibility study is being prepared by the special purpose company Soyuz Vostok Gas Pipeline.
The Soyuz Vostok Gas Pipeline is Gazprom’s second megaproject targeting the Chinese market. This project’s resource base will be gas fields located in Western Siberia, making it possible to ‘diversify’ the direction of gas exports from this region. Until now, the only customers for gas from this part of Russia, due to the current transmission infrastructure, have been from Europe. The Siberian Power is to transport 38 bcm of gas annually from the East Siberian fields, starting from 2024. As envisaged, Soyuz Vostok is to have the capacity to transport around 50 bcm of gas per year.
The idea of building a second export pipeline to China came about in 2015. At that time, the pipeline was called Altai. This was due to the route chosen, which was to run through the Altai mountains, through an isthmus between Kazakhstan and Mongolia. Because of the problem of crossing the mountainous terrain, the Gazprom authorities decided to reroute the pipeline through Mongolia. Mongolian steppe is definitely an easier area to lay pipes in.
By Martin Chomsky (photo: Gazprom)