General Electric Co. said Wednesday it has been awarded a $300 million contract for work on a new east-west natural gas pipeline in China that is expected to boost use of the fuel in the energy-hungry and fast developing nation.
GE's oil and gas division will provide compression equipment and turbines for the PetroChina pipeline that will run 8,700 kilometers through 13 of China's provinces. It will extend from China's western provinces to the coastal city of Shanghai, serving 400 million people along its route.
The pipeline, China's second east-west project, is expected to raise the share of natural gas in China's primary energy consumption to 5 percent from 3.5 percent.
With the contract, the value of GE's total orders for work on three Chinese pipelines rises to more than $600 million. Those include an original east-west project and a pipeline that carries natural gas from Sichuan to Shanghai.
"Pipelines are a big business for us in China," said Joe Mastrangelo, vice president of GE's oil and gas unit.
GE's portions of the new pipeline project are expected to go into service in the second half of 2010 and 2011.
GE will manufacture equipment for the project at facilities in Cincinnati and Florence, Italy.