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Official: Yunnan-Myanmar pipeline work to start in early 2009

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Construction of an oil and gas pipeline between Yunnan and coastal Myanmar is scheduled to begin in the first half of next year, according to Chinese media reports citing Mi Gongsheng, director of the Yunnan Provincial Reform and Development Commission.

The US$2.5 billion pipeline project is one of several major infrastructure and energy projects planned for Yunnan in 2009. The other projects reportedly focus on large-scale industry, railway expansion, cleaning up Dianchi Lake, power and coal projects, construction, power grid improvements and rural road construction. Mi added that Yunnan will spend 72 billion yuan (US$10.5 billion) on energy projects next year.

China recently announced a massive national initiative to upgrade the country's energy, aviation, rail and internet infrastructure as part of its reaction to the current global financial crisis. This will be China's largest pipeline project since completion of a pipeline from northwestern China's Xinjiang to its energy-hungry east coast in 2004.

China National Petroleum Corp, the country's top oil producer, will control a 50.9-percent stake and will manage the project, with the remainder held by Myanmar Oil & Gas Enterprise.

China – whose energy projects in Sudan have already been a source of international criticism – is likely to get more of the same for its cooperation with Myanmar's government, which is run by a repressive military junta that is most notable for keeping the country's last democratically elected leader – Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi under arrest for 13 of the last 20 years.

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Chris; if I had written this interesting piece, I would have been tempted to highlight the words "... power and coal projects," The words jumped out of my screen but maybe not everyone's.
Just kidding ... a bit.

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