Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, May 13
By Huseyn Hasanov- Trend:
Turkmenistan and China are each others largest partner in the gas sphere, which has a solid foundation and great prospects for development, Chinese President Xi Jinping said.
He made the remarks after his meeting with Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, who is on a state visit to Beijing, China, from May 11 to May 14, a message from the Turkmen government said on May 13.
Turkmenistan started to supply gas to China in 2009, after the commissioning of the Turkmenistan-China gas pipeline running through Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. Three branches of this pipeline will increase the annual volume of Turkmen gas supplied to China, to 40 billion cubic meters.
The two countries reached an agreement in September, 2013, to construct the fourth branch of the Turkmenistan-China gas pipeline. The fourth branch to be commissioned in 2016 is designed to run through Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.
This corresponds with the agreement between Ashgabat and Beijing to supply additional 25 billion cubic meters of Turkmen gas per year. This will increase the total volume of export to 65 billion cubic meters.
In a joint declaration signed during Berdimuhamedov's visit to China, the parties expressed readiness to speed up the creation of a cooperation mechanism for safe operation of the Turkmenistan-China gas pipeline.
"In this context, the two countries will focus on intensifying the strategic cooperation in this sphere, as well as the accelerated construction of the D branch of Turkmenistan-China pipeline," a message from the government of Turkmenistan said.
"The parties also intend to enhance their collaboration in the sphere of oil and gas processing, as well as to make effective efforts to ensure the safety of pipeline infrastructure and related facilities," the government message added.
While speaking in Beijing, the Turkmen president stressed the importance of the rapidly constructed Turkmenistan-China pipeline as a strategic framework for partnership for the next 10 years.
The president added that the transnational energy bridge will also be essential for sustainable geopolitical and economic development in Asia, Turkmen Dovlet Khabarlary state news agency said on May 13.
"However, the gas pipeline brings huge benefit to all countries that participated in this project implementation," the president said. "In 2013 its effective operation brought the volume of Turkmen natural gas supplied to China annually to 25 billion cubic meters."
The Turkmen president said that the completion of the third branch construction and rapid launching of the Turkmenistan-China gas pipeline fourth branch construction will increase the volume of transported fuel up to an agreed level, namely, up to 65 billion cubic meters per year, according to the report.
"The parties will work together to ensure the success and stability of the China-Central Asia gas pipeline and full natural gas supplies through A, B, C lines of this gas pipeline," according to the statement. "Moreover, they plan as soon as possible to begin construction of the D line to fully complete the construction and launch it into operation in 2016, as well as bring the annual volume of Turkmen natural gas to a new level - 65 billion cubic meters a year."
Edited by C.N.