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    China Business
     Mar 26, '14

China runs risk with new gas import route
By Michael Lelyveld

China is planning to start work on a new gas route through Central Asia this year despite cross-border conflicts in the region that threaten transport and trade.

On March 10, state-owned China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) announced an agreement with Tajikistan's national gas distributor Tajiktransgaz to jointly manage construction of a new pipeline across the country's territory.

The deal clears the way for a fourth strand of China's Central Asia Gas Pipeline (CAGP) from Turkmenistan, known as Line D,

following intergovernmental agreements with Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan last September.

The project continues the rapid rise of China's gas imports from the region since the first 2,000-kilometer (1,242-mile) strand of the CAGP began deliveries from Turkmen gas fields through Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan in late 2009.

Last year, the CAGP system supplied 27 billion cubic meters (953 billion cubic feet) of gas to China's West-East pipelines through Xinjiang.

By 2020, the four lines from Central Asia will carry 80 billion cubic meters per year, accounting for over 40 percent of China's gas imports, CNPC said.

The route stretching over 7,000 kilometers (4,349 miles) to China's eastern cities and the growing volume may make it the longest and one of the largest in the world.

But unlike the first three branches of the CAGP, Line D will bypass Kazakhstan, taking a southern track through Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. The two republics are the neediest nations of former-Soviet Central Asia, which China avoided for transit in the past.

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Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Asia. For original article, see here

Copyright (c) 2014, Radio Free Asia.




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