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REGNUM

The Gazprom Company considers laying Altay gas pipeline through the Khanty-Mansiysk autonomous district territory, Tomsk region, the Altay Territory, the Republic of Altay, and further to China to be the most efficient route among all considered, Gazprom corporate executive Bogdan Budzulyak informed the press, Lawtek.ru informs.

The Gazprom representative explained that the routes passing through transit states increases the project costs. According to him, no accurate calculation of the gas pipelines cost has been done yet. Presumably, it will make $4bn-5bn, depending on geological conditions of the pipeline rout.

As REGNUM informed earlier, during his visit to China, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on September 21 of the Russian authorities intent to build two natural gas pipelines from Siberia to China. According to the president, a new pipeline system provisionally named Altay can be constructed across the western Russian-Chinese border. Russia would annually supply 60bn-80bn cubic meters of natural gas to China, the president stated. Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller stated that the new gas pipeline might cost about $10bn. It is expected that the project will be launched in 2011.

According to one of available versions, the gas pipeline will pass through the territory of the Republic of Altay, bordering in the south the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of China. The length of the Russian-Chinese border here is 54km.

At the same time, some mass media, as well as Russian State Duma deputy Vladimir Ryzhkov proposed to lay the gas pipeline through a transit state Kazakhstan or Mongolia, because Russian-Chinese border in Gorny Altay crosses Plato Ukok, which has been included by UNESCO in the World Heritage List.

All news from 23 September 2006:

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