PipeChina has reportedly made an investment of $3.8bn (CNY24.45bn) to boost gas supplies ahead of its winter season when demand is anticipated to surge.

The investment is aimed at expanding the firm’s gas infrastructure to add 60 million cubic metres of daily gas supply capacity by end of 2021, reported Reuters.

China Oil and Gas Pipeline Network, or PipeChina, expects to increase the gas transmission capacity to 268 billion cubic metres (bcm) per annum, via its 49,000km pipeline network.

This in turn would allow a natural gas supply of more than 110bcm this winter and spring next year, the news agency reported citing the firm as saying in a statement.

PipeChina said it has also started natural gas purchases for emergency use. The purchased gas is planned to be stored at gas terminals and storage tanks before the end of this month.

The efforts by the firm come amid an unprecedented electricity crisis in the country triggered by coal shortages.

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By GlobalData

To help ease shortages, the government has been urging its energy firms to secure fuel supplies ‘at all costs’.

Earlier this year, PipeChina started construction on the $1.3bn natural gas trunk line in north China.

With a capacity to transport 6.6bcm of gas, the new trunkline will connect an import terminal in Tianjin, and Xiongan near Beijing, reported Reuters at that time.

In a separate announcement, China has reportedly committed to reduce its fossil fuels reliance to less than 20% by 2060, reported CNN citing a cabinet document published in state media.

The new measure forms part of the wider plan of the world’s second-biggest economy to become carbon neutral by 2060.