Construction Starts on Kazakh Section of Central Asia-China Gas Pipeline

On July 9, construction of the Kazakh section of the Central Asia-China Gas Pipeline was launched at a ceremony in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

Zhang Guobao, Vice Chairman of National Development and Reform Commission, Director of the Bureau of Energy and Special Envoy of the Chinese Government, Sauat Mukhametbaevich Mynbayev, Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources of Kazakhstan, CNPC Vice President Liao Yongyuan and KazMunaiGaz President Uzakbay Karabalin were present at the ceremony.

The Central Asia-China pipeline is the largest among China's overseas gas projects. With a total length of 1,818 km, it will originate at the Turkmenistan - Uzbekistan borderline, pass through the middle of Uzbekistan, across southern of Kazakhstan and into China's Xingjiang at Horgos to be connected with the country's Second West-East Gas Pipeline.

The pipeline is to be built by CNPC in joint ventures with local oil and gas companies in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. It is expected to be completed and put into operation in 2009, and a second in 2010. After the whole project is completed, it will transmit about 30 billion cubic meters of natural gas from Central Asia to China every year of its expected 30-year operation period. That amounts to about 50% of China's total 2007 natural gas production

The pipeline will directly affect energy supply in China's developed areas, as its destinations are the Pearl River and Yangtze River Deltas. Introducing natural gas from Turkmenistan would not only help meet China's burgeoning energy demand, but also improve its energy consumption structure. It is estimated that with the pipeline in use, the percentage of natural gas in China's total energy consumption will increase by nearly 2%, meaning China will be able to cut its annual emissions of carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, smoke and dust, and nitrogen oxides by 130 million tons, 1.44 million tons, 0.66 million tons and 0.36 million tons, respectively.