25 Oct 2017 18:30

Laying of first branch of tunnel for Power of Siberia pipeline under Amur River completed

BLAGOVESHCHENK. Oct 25 (Interfax) - Drilling for the first branch of the underwater tunnel of the trans-border section of the Power of Siberia pipeline between Blagoveshchenk and Heihe through the Amur River to supply gas to China has been completed, the deputy head of Blagoveshchenk customs, Oleg Borisov, told journalists.

He said that the tunneling complex which laid the main tunnel at a depth of 18 meters had already reached the surface at the Russian customs area at a closed-off zone of the Verkhneblagoveshchensky international checkpoint.

"They have already drilled the first branch under the Amur River. We are now pulling out the colossally heavy and expensive equipment from under the ground, after which it will be sent to China through the checkpoint so drilling of the second branch can begin, which will be completed already next year," Borisov said.

After construction of the tunnel is completed, the temporary checkpoint which was opened this year will be shut down, he said. In order to control the release of gas to China, a gas metering station will be built in China. Once a month, customs employees will record the figures on the meter and send the information back to the central energy customs.