China's energy crunch has resulted in power rationing in more than half of the provinces and affected the world's biggest production base for electronic gadgets to semiconductors to appliances, among other things. Beijing has ordered energy firms to "secure supplies at all costs" as winter fast approaches to avoid shortages. But as we learn this morning, a Gazprom gas processing plant, connected to Russia's sole gas pipeline to China, shuttered operations following a fire at the facility, according to Bloomberg.
Irina Dmitruk, the spokeswoman for the Gazprom unit, said the blaze at the Amur processing facility in eastern Siberia was extinguished around 0500 London time.
Bloomberg's top energy analyst Javier Blas tweeted what appears to be a video of the fire at the processing plant. He said, "still unclear what's the damage."
GAS MARKET: Still unclear what’s the damage, but for a market on the edge, this is another source of worries. A fire has hit the Amur processing plant on the “Power of Siberia” gas pipeline linking Russia and China pic.twitter.com/4Bi7hDkLUS— Javier Blas (@JavierBlas) October 8, 2021
However, Blas tweeted: "Gazprom is saying that the main equipment at the plant was not damage, and that gas exports toward China continue in line with requests." Still, a full damage assessment report has not been released.
The Power of Siberia began operations in late 2019, before the Amur plant was launched. The facility processes natural gas from Gazprom's Chayanda field and is used as feedstock for petrochemical production.
Instances like these outline the fragility of the fossil fuel industry. If processing or pipelines are shut down amid energy crunches in Europe and Asia, it would be absolutely devastating, considering both continents have very low stockpiles of fossil fuels ahead of the winter season.