The oil wharf for the China-Myanmar crude oil pipeline has started construction, the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) company newspaper, China Oil News, reported Tuesday.

According to the report, the inauguration ceremony was held on October 31, 2009 at Maday Island in Myanmar's western coastal area, where is the start point of the proposed China-Myanmar crude oil pipeline .

The ceremony was attended by Myanmar's Energy Minister Lun Thi and CNPC's deputy general manager Liao Yongyuan, who jointly announced the commencement of the wharf construction, the newspaper reported.

Myanmar's Communication Minister and other senior government officials as well as Chinese official also witnessed the start-up ceremony.

The commencement of the wharf construction also declared formal start of the 771-kilometer-long China-Myanmar crude oil pipeline, which will serve as a shortcut to carry crude oil from Africa and the Middle East into China instead of the sea route via Malacca Strait.

The crude oil pipeline is designed with an annual capacity of 12 million tons per year. CNPC is the contractor of the pipeline construction.

China and Myanmar reached a primary deal on the trans-border crude oil pipeline in October 2006. A formal agreement was reached between the two governments on construction of the pipeline in March 2009. An additional MoU over the joint development, operation and management of such pipeline was signed in June 2009.

Copyright 2009 Xinhua News Agency