BEIJING, July 9 (RIA Novosti) - The construction of Power of Siberia gas pipeline to supply Russian gas to China is expected to begin shortly, at a cost to Russia of $60-70 billion, Kremlin Chief of Staff Sergei Ivanov said Wednesday during his visit to China.
"The Power of Siberia gas pipeline construction will start soon, the estimated cost of this whole project is $60-70 billion," Ivanov said, addressing Russian-speaking students in Beijing.
The new pipeline is to supply China with Russian gas under a 30-year contract Gazprom and China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) signed in late May. Under the contract, Russian is to provide China with 38 billion cubic meters of gas per year. The value of the deal is estimated at $400 billion. Russia plans to invest $55 billion in the deal, and China around $22 billion.
Gazprom plans to connect the first pipes in August 2014.
Ivanov called the signing of the deal a historical event and said the collaboration between the two nations stretched beyond the energy sector.
"We are currently jointly building a wide-body aircraft, a heavy helicopter … heavy in terms of lifting capacity. Many transport projects, including the construction of a long highway, which will run from China to Russia via Kazakhstan, and will end at the Baltic Sea," Ivanov said.
The new projects should allow the annual trade volume between the nations to increase from the current $100 billion to $200 billion by 2020.