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10:02 | Jul 02 | 2014

Yakutia to become main supplier of gas to China

 Chayanda field in southern Yakutia will provide up to 70% of Russian gas exports to China for the next 30 years. 

The order on priority deliveries from Chayanda to China has been recently signed by Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller. This decision and the gas reserves of southern Yakutia, in general, as recently said the Acting Head of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) Yegor Borisov, "will be the basis for the integrated development of the region and expanding economic presence of Russia in foreign Asia."

Chayanda field won the priority over Kovykta field in Irkutsk Oblast. The supply will go via The Power of Siberia pipeline (which is over 1,500 km long) - from Chayanda to Blagoveshchensk and further to China.

- This artery - as Yegor Borisov explained to RSL — is scheduled for operation before 2018, and the construction of the first line will begin in 2015. "As for Chayanda field development, according to Yegor Borisov, construction and production are scheduled for 2015 and 2018, respectively. Over the same period of time, Blagoveshchensk will be working on launching gas processing facilities.

- The integrated development of energy and other resources of Yakutia - said Yegor Borisov to RSL- is a part of several federal and regional programs. Their implementation will not only give impetus to the economy of the Siberian and Far Eastern region, but also strengthen the position of Russia in the energy sector and, in general, the economies of other Asia-Pacific countries.

It is about developing large gas reserves, as well as diamonds, gold, oil, coal, and rare earth metals. These projects will enter the commercial production stage in 2017-2021, which will add at least 50% to the region's GRP.

However, according to Yegor Borisov, one need to improve transportation infrastructure of these and other projects. Down in Neryungri, near the junction of the Baikal-Amur railway and the planned branch from there to Yakutsk, we can create a large metallurgical cluster.

- It should have been established in the mid-1980s - said Yegor Borisov. - But this project is still relevant today under the economic industrialization and export from the Russian Far East.

Therefore, the BAM branch to be built within the next 4-6 years to Yakutsk (about 300 km), the bridge across the Lena River (near Yakutsk) and expansion of the river port in Yakutsk are necessaru for Chayanda development, development of metallurgy in Neryungri and for most of other resource projects in Yakutia. These corridors, according to the Acting Head of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), "will form a powerful logistics cluster for the entire region".

Furthermore, the next issue on the agenda is the railway project Yakutsk - Magadan port (500 km).

- This artery, - explained  Yegor Borisov to RSL, - will accelerate the exploration of resources in Eastern Yakutia, Magadan region, expand the port network in the Russian Far East. But such a project requires careful consideration.