Industrial oil and gas pipeline. Photo: Public Domain Pictures

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has launched its first project in China, a US$250 million loan for the construction of a natural gas pipeline network in Beijing to promote the development of clean energy, People’s Daily reported.

The network is expected to cover about 150 villages, connecting approximately 216,750 families. When put into use, Beijing could reduce its use of coal by 650,000 metric tonnes per year, thus decreasing carbon dioxide emissions by about 595,700 metric tonnes.

Jin Liqun, head of the AIIB, said China’s promise to reduce the dependency on coal will change people’s lives and improve environmental quality, which is why the bank decided to invest in the project.

“AIIB aims to help its members to achieve their goals in environmental protection and development,” Jin said. 

The contractor is Beijing Gas Group Co. Ltd., and the overall project is expected to be completed by 2021.