July 25 (UPI) -- Russian natural gas company Gazprom said Wednesday that just over 90 percent of its Power of Siberia gas pipeline to China is completed.
"By now, a total of 1,214 miles, or 90.5 per cent of the linear section running from Chayandinskoye to the Chinese border in the Amur Region, is finished," the company's statement read. "The bulk of construction and installation work for this section will be completed this year."
Gazprom said construction on the facilities for gas production from fields feeding the pipeline is about halfway completed. Pipeline testing and installation of a power supply is scheduled for 2019.
Gazprom has a 30-year sales agreement with China National Petroleum Corp. that calls for 1.3 trillion cubic feet of natural gas per year through the pipeline. The Kremlin described the 2,500-mile Power of Siberia as a way to tie the Russian energy sector to two poles of the economic world.
"By exploring gas reserves and creating gas transmission and processing capacities, the company works toward providing domestic consumers with reliable gas supplies in the long term, as well as strengthening Gazprom's foothold in the Asia-Pacific region," the company's statement read.
Russia is one of the main energy suppliers to the European market, but has started to focus on the emerging and expanding economies in the Asia-Pacific. Last week, Russian energy company Novatek, the largest private gas company in the country, shipped its first batch of liquefied natural gas to China using a so-called Northern Sea Route.
The northern passageway is a shipping lane in Russia's economic zone that runs along the Arctic coast to the Bering Strait. The shipment took 19 days, compared to 35 days using a traditional shipping lane.
The Yamal LNG project has the capacity to produce about 16.5 million tons of natural gas, and exports could target consumers in the Far East.
China holds a minority stake in the LNG facility on the Yamal Peninsula in Russia, alongside French energy company Total and Novatek, the largest private natural gas company in Russia.