Pipelines, meters, household connections to be completed by 2021; project will cut China coal demand by 650,000 tons annually

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank’s (AIIB) approved a US$250 million loan for a project that will connect about 216,750 households in approximately 510 rural villages to the natural gas distribution network in China.

The investment in the project represents AIIB’s first corporate loan. The project, undertaken by the Beijing Gas Group Company, will involve the construction of natural gas distribution networks in villages and low-pressure gas pipelines and household connections. Gas consumption meters will also be installed. The project is scheduled for completion in 2021.

The bank said this is its first investment in China.

The bank said getting these households on gas will reduce China’s coal use by about 650,000 tons annually, making make rural households less reliant on coal for cooking and heating, improving indoor and outdoor air quality and lessening the risk of respiratory, cardiovascular and ischemic heart diseases in impacted regions, including Beijing, the bank said in a press release.

Public consultations and information disclosure were carried out during project preparation phase. AIIB’s environmental and social due diligence—including site visits—indicated that there will be no land acquisition or population displacement in the project areas. The environmental and social management plan has been disclosed on the Beijing Gas website and on AIIB’s website.

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