A pipeline transporting Myanmar’s oil to China has been inaugurated, Chinese state media report amid Beijing’s efforts to diversify energy import sources into the country.
The trial operation of the 771-kilometer (478-mile) pipeline started on Wednesday during an opening ceremony attended by Myanmar’s Vice President U Nyan Tun, and Liao Yongyuan, the general manager of China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), China’s Xinhua news agency reported.
The pipeline links the world’s second-largest economy to a port in western Myanmar in a move which decreases China’s reliance on oil pumped through the Strait of Malacca.
The CNPC in cooperation with Myanmar’s state-run Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE) completed the construction of the pipeline in May 2014 after four years as the project was kicked off in June 2010.
According to Xinhua, 50.9 percent of the project belongs to the CNPC while the rest is owned by the MOGE.
The new oil pipeline can transmit 22 million tons of crude a year from Myanmar’s Madae Island, which is due to be officially opened on Friday.
In 2013, another pipeline transporting natural gas over 2,500 kilometers from western Myanmar to southwest China started its work.
Reports said in November 2014 that the two countries signed agreements worth USD 7.8 billion, including deals to construct power plants fuelled by natural gas.