Turkmenistan-China gas line to be commissioned

Eric Watkins
OGJ Oil Diplomacy Editor

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 11 -- Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow said his country plans to commission the newly constructed Turkmenistan-China natural gas pipeline on Dec. 14 to coincide with a state visit by Chinese President Hu Jintao.

Berdimuhamedow said the line will supply China with 40 billion cu m/year of gas for 30 years.

According to China’s vice-foreign minister Wang Guangya, the pipeline will transport 30 billion cu m of gas more than 1,800 km from Turkmenistan via neighboring Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan to China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

"Such a project is a model of mutually beneficial cooperation between the four states, and displays our desire to bolster economic cooperation and realize common development," Wang said.

"The construction started in July 2008 and one of the two lines of the project will be completed in mid-December this year," said Wang ahead of Hu’s Central Asia visit, which will begin in Kazakhstan on Dec. 12, followed by his stay in Turkmenistan on Dec. 13-14.

Earlier this month, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said the new Turkmen-Chinese gas line would not endanger energy cooperation between his country and China.

“We are aware of the Chinese gas needs and have close contact with our Chinese colleagues. We also offer to expand cooperation with them. We do not think that the prospective gas pipeline from Turkmenistan to China will damage our plans,” the Russian leader said (OGJ Online, Dec. 7, 2009).

Contact Eric Watkins at hippalus@yahoo.com.

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