China needs to invest more than US$26.6 billion in pipeline construction over the next 15 years if it is to achieve its goal of boosting fourfold its usage of natural gas, a leading industry expert has said. Liu Keyu, vice-president of China National Petroleum Corp's research center, said the country needed to increase its pipeline network by some 50,000 kilometers if it was to meet targets aimed at reducing dependence on heavily polluting fuels such as coal. Since March 2002, China has allowed foreign firms to hold majority stakes in gas distribution ventures and granted generous tax breaks for firms involved in natural gas-based projects as a way of boosting investment in the sector. By 2020 China aims to have 35% of household energy consumption sourced from natural gas.
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