Russian Federation switched on an enormous gas pipeline to China worth billions of dollars Monday, affirming increasingly close economic and political ties between the two countries.
Meanwhile, Moscow and Beijing are negotiating the launch of a second part to the mega-project, namely Power of Siberia 2, aimed at providing industrial areas along China's eastern coast with Russian natural gas.
Russian President Vladimir Putin characterised it as a "genuinely historical event [.] for us, for Russia and China".
China is the world's largest energy consumer and demand for natural gas is increasing in the country, especially in the northern part, as it gradually moves from burning coal to cleaner energy for central household heating in winter.
According to Gazprom, Power of Siberia was the largest investment project in the global gas industry, and included the construction of roughly 1,000 km (621 miles) of roads and 25 bridges.
Bryan Cox, president and CEO of the B.C. LNG Alliance is also confident that there will be an opportunity for Canada to enter the market, but it can't put off its projects anymore.
In a symbol of the strengthening military ties between Moscow and Beijing, Russia and China staged their first joint air patrol in the Asia-Pacific in July, scrambling Japanese and South Korea air defenses.
The pipeline serves as a model of.mutually beneficial cooperation between our countries, Xi said.
The project, which has significant geopolitical implications, comes as Russian Federation increases energy exports to the world's largest gas importer amid Western financial sanctions, and as Chinese central planners continue to aggressively promote a switch from coal to cleaner-burning natural gas to help ease some of the nation's air pollution.
Hailing the five-year toil of construction teams from both countries on the project under extreme weather and the completion on schedule, Putin said Russian Federation will provide 1 trillion cubic meters of natural gas to China in the next 30 years. "More than a trillion cubic meters of gas will be delivered to China through the Power of Siberia pipeline over 20 years".
Jinping hailed the workers who constructed the pipeline, saying, "While working in subzero temperatures and severe climatic conditions and overcoming enormous difficulties, our workers, engineers and oil workers completed the construction project with a high level of quality and showed the entire world the high level of skills and positive results of our cooperation".
The project is significant for, as they are facing sanctions from the U.S., CNBC said.
Nord Stream-2, which would double Russian gas volumes to Germany, is expected to go online in mid-2020. The total price of the contract on annual supplies of 38 billion cubic meters of gas to China amounted to $400 bln.