Power of Siberia pipeline project may be facing delays

Altai PipelinePower of Siberia, the flagship $55bn 4,000km gas pipeline linking two new gas fields in Russia’s Sakha Republic to China’s eastern industrial heartlands, may be facing delays, Reuters reported yesterday. Citing “three sources with direct knowledge of the plans of export firm Gazprom”, the international news agency suggested that the project may be put off until Moscow completes the cheaper Altai pipeline which would send gas from existing fields on the Yamal peninsula thousands of kilometres further west. “Yamal gas needs new markets – that’s why Gazprom is pushing for the Altai route. That’s why neither Vladivostok nor the Power of Siberia are a priority,’ said a banker close to Gazprom. The downside of the Altai pipeline is that it interface with China on its remote western border and would require the construction of major new domestic network of pipelines to transport the gas to central and eastern cities.