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China CNPC proposes gas link to Tibet: report

September 24, 2008

BEIJING, 23 Sep 2008 (Reuters) - Top Chinese oil and gas firm CNPC is
proposing a 1,365-kilometre natural gas pipeline that could pump up to
1.2 billion cubic metres of the fuel from northwestern Qinghai province
to Lhasa, the capital of Tibet.

The 624 million yuan ($A109.48 million) pipeline would start from Tainan
gasfield in the Tsaidam Basin in Qinghai and run more than 500
kilometres across the frozen Qinghai-Tibet Plateau before reaching
Lhasa, a local newspaper in Qinghai said last week.

The feasibility study of the plan has been submitted to the National
Development and Reform Commission for approval while environmental and
safety review procedures were proceeding, reported the Xihai Metropolis

Large-scale construction in the environmentally fragile Tibet region
often sparks criticism from environmentalists, and Tibetan activists
contend such moves are designed to strengthen Beijing's control and
marginalise ethnic Tibetans.

China's military forces built a 1,080-kilometre pipeline in the 1970s
that pumps refined oil products from Golmud in Qinghai to Lhasa.

A 1,142-kilometre railway link between the two cities, inaugurated on
July 1, 2006, passes through spectacular icy peaks on the Tibetan
highlands, and has brought an unprecedented number of tourists to the
scarcely populated region.
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