China Gas Holdings aims to at least quadruple its gas sales in four years to tap the nation's drive to utilise more clean energy.
The main board-listed company, which sold 0.43 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas in the year to March, aimed to raise it to one bcm this financial year and to between four and five bcm by 2011, managing director Liu Minghui said.
'The target incorporates both already announced projects as well as some projects we are confident we will be able to get,' he said, adding that the company was in talks on 20 city gas distribution projects.
Mr Liu said in July the company aimed to have 65 projects by the end of March.
The company yesterday said it won a tender to buy a 48 per cent stake in gas distributor Harbin Chongqing Gas from the Harbin government for 477.3 million yuan.
Harbin Chongqing runs a 2,000km gas distribution network in Harbin in Heilongjiang province.
China National Petroleum Corp, the nation's largest oil and gas producer, has a 49 per cent stake in the project. Its gas field in Daqing, 200km from Harbin, will supply the network.
The government-stipulated wholesale gas price was 1.30 yuan per cubic metre in Harbin, and the retail price was two yuan for residential users, 2.50 yuan for industrial users and three yuan for commercial users, Mr Liu said. Only around 50 million yuan more in investment is needed to complete the upgrade, which will allow natural gas to be sold, replacing dirtier coal gas previously sold.
Gas sales are expected to rise to 600 million cubic metres (mcm) in 2009 and one bcm in 2011 from 336 mcm this year.
CNPC has not signed a long-term gas supply contract with Harbin Chongqing. Mr Liu is confident it will honour a commitment to the Harbin government to give priority supply to the city.
The Harbin government was selling the asset at a fixed price based on the entire company's net asset valuation of 980 million yuan, Mr Liu said.