China, Russia achieve steady progress in energy cooperation
Sino-Russian energy cooperation has been making steady progress in the past year, despite rising challenges from the US energy sector, which is eager to export natural gas to China, Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), told the Global Times on Wednesday.
Russia and China have launched several very impressive and ambitious joint projects in recent years including the Power of Siberia gas pipeline, the Yamal liquefied natural gas (LNG) project and many others, according to Dmitriev.
"Russia is the largest producer of oil and natural gas in the world and China is the biggest energy consumer, so the two countries are natural partners. Russia and China are cooperating in every field: pipeline oil and gas, LNG exports as well as renewable energy," Dmitriev said.
Russia's role as a major energy exporter is not without a challenge. The US, after turning into a net exporter of natural gas in recent years, is also eyeing the Chinese market, with US officials including Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross calling in March for more natural gas exports to China.
"The Yamal LNG project, invested in by China's Silk Road Fund, is expected to supply the Chinese market with 4 million tons of LNG annually," Dmitriev said, noting that this demonstrates China's long-term interest in importing LNG from Russia.
"When it is completed by the end of 2020, The Power of Siberia pipeline will transport up to 38 billion cubic meters of gas annually to China, becoming the main source of natural gas for the country, which has announced a major shift from coal-powered electricity generation to natural gas," Dmitriev noted.
Dmitrievis also the co-CEO of the Russia-China Investment Fund (RCIF), established by the RDIF and China Investment Corp in 2012.
China and Russia signed a $400 billion natural gas supply contract in 2014 that will see annual exports of 38 billion cubic meters each year for 30 years. The Eastern Siberia-Pacific Ocean will be the conduit for this contract.