China's State-controlled Approach to Cross-provincial Gas Pipeline Planning
Published 7 February 2023
In China, the development of cross-provincial gas pipelines is subject to national planning, which can be justified by the features and practical challenges of the sector. The cross-provincial gas pipeline development plans are scattered in various national plans, and the National Development and Reform Commission and the National Energy Administration are responsible to formulate and supervise the implementation of national special plans involving gas pipeline development. The two departments also have the authority to approve the construction of cross-provincial gas pipelines, which shall comply with the development plans. At present, the central state-owned enterprise of PipeChina monopolizes the cross-provincial pipeline sector and assumes the responsibility of pipeline development. While the establishment of PipeChina facilitates the accomplishment of the plans, the planning regime still has critical shortcomings, such as insufficient implementation due to lack of capital and ineffective supervision. Ultimately, in contrast with the on-going gas market reform, China's gas pipeline development is subject to strict state control and compulsory planning.