A commencement ceremony was held in Gazli, Uzbekistan, to celebrate the start of construction for Line C of the Central Asia-China Gas Pipeline. China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) Vice President Wang Dongjin and Uzbekneftegaz First Deputy Chairman Shavkat Mazhitov cut the ribbon and delivered speeches at the ceremony.
Line C of the Central Asia-China Gas Pipeline covers a distance of 529 km in Uzbekistan and plays an important role in diversifying Uzbekistan's gas exports.
Running 1,840 km in parallel with Lines A and B which have already become operational, Line C is designed to deliver 25 Bcm/a of natural gas from Turkme-nistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan to China.
It is estimated that gas supply will commence from January 2014, and reach the designed throughput in December 2015, enhancing the total transmission capacity of the Central Asia-China Gas Pipeline to 55 Bcm/a.
The Central Asia-China Gas Pipeline will start at Gedaim on the border of Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, running through central Uzbekistan and southern Kazakhstan before ending at Horgos in China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, where it will be connected to the Second West-East Gas Pipeline.
Line C will add to the Central Asia-China Gas Pipeline's existing dual parallel lines, each running for 1,833 km. Line A became operational in December 2009, and Line B became operational in 2010.
In July 2007, CNPC signed a production-sharing contract to explore and develop gas fields on the right bank of the Amu-Darya River with the Turkmen State Agency, and a natural gas purchase and sales agreement with Turkmengazi State Concern.
CNPC then signed two basic principle agreements on gas pipeline construction and operation with KazMunayGaz and Uzbekneftegaz respectively, under the framework agreements on pipeline construction and operation between the Chinese government and the Kazakh and Uzbek governments. Under the agreements, CNPC would invest in a cross-border gas pipeline in central Asia, through which Turkmenistan would supply China with 30 Bcm/a of natural gas for 30 years.
Aside from fostering economic co-operation between China and central Asian countries, the pipeline is also expected to be a source of prosperity for the region, promoting the development of, and investment, in local natural gas resources, stimulating the growth of local equipment manufacturing and construction industries, and creating employment opportunities.
Safety a top priority
CNPC said "We believe in health, safety and environment management, and emphasize the health and safety of our overseas contractors.
In 2008, there were no accidents during the 5.89 million man hours of production, and no traffic accidents for vehicles traveling a total of 9.95 million kilometres."
The company has implemented a number of safety and environmental measures on the project including:
- Forbidding project vehicles to travel outside the operating zone.
- Excavating pipe trenches on farmland strictly in accordance with rules on stripping of mature soil, piling immature and mature soil separately from each other, and backfilling the soil to restore the original environment.
- Welding the pipeline in a way that ensured there was a crossing every 2 km for cattle, sheep, and wild animals.
- Ensuring all engineering projects had passed local governments' environmental assessments.