Home Economy Myanmar confirms plan to export natural gas to Yunnan, China

Myanmar confirms plan to export natural gas to Yunnan, China


Yangon : Myanmar plans to build a road, a railway and a natural gas link to Yunnan, China, to foster closed economic ties with its neighbour to the north, media reports said Tuesday.

Lieutenant General Thein Sein, first secretary of the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) – as Myanmar's junta styles itself – confirmed during a recent visit to Kunming, Yunnan's capital, that the country intends to export natural gas to Yunnan, said The New Light of Myanmar newspaper.

Yunnan Communist Party chairman Bai Enpei met with Thein Sein on June 8 to discuss economic relations, said the government mouthpiece.

"In his address, the Secretary-1 said that Myanmar and China have been making arrangements to cooperate in mining and hydro electric power sector," said the newspaper. "Arrangemens are also being made to export natural gas from Myanmar," Thein Sein added.

He also said that a road from Yunnan Province to Myitkyina in Myanmar was under construction and arrangements are also being made to build a railroad.

Thein Sein's comments appeared to confirm news reports that China plans to build a natural gas pipeline to link Yunnan to Myanmar's sizeable offshore gas reserves.

The Chinese government in April approved construction of an oil pipeline from Sittwe, a port in southern Myanmar, to Kunming, the capital of Yunnan province.

China also reportedly plans to invest 8 billion yuan (above $1 billion) to build a 2,380-km gas pipeline from Myanmar to Kunming.

The gas pipeline is designed to carry 170 billion cubic metres of natural gas from the Middle East to southwestern China in the next 30 years, according to Chinese media reports.

China's three state-owned oil producers – Sinopec, CNPC and CNOOC – all have major oil and gas exploitation projects in marine areas off Myanmar.

In return, China has promised to grant a loan of 650 million Hong Kong dollars ($83 million) to Myanmar for the development of its oil industry.