Russia considers building pipeline to China via Kazakhstan - minister

Kazakhstan Materials 23 February 2023 11:03 (UTC +04:00)
Emin Sevdimaliyev
Emin Sevdimaliyev
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BAKU, Azerbaijan, February 23. Kazakhstan QazaqGaz, a national gas operator, and Gazprom, a Russian energy company, working out the initial feasibility study for the construction of a gas pipeline from Russia to China via Kazakhstan, Bolat Akchulakov, the Minister of Energy of Kazakhstan, said, Trend reports, via Kazakh media.

The minister did not reveal any details regarding the feasibility study and technical parameters of the potential pipeline. However, he noted that the construction of the said pipeline will enable Kazakhstan to carry out the gasification of the eastern regions of the country.

Akchulakov noted that the gasification of the regions is one of the priorities of the Kazakh government. Currently, around 11.6 million people, equivalent to 59 percent of the total population, have access to gas.

This is not the first effort of Russia to establish close gas cooperation with Central Asian countries. Earlier, Gazprom signed a Roadmap with the governments of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. Earlier, Russia proposed creating a gas union between the countries, however, the plans have not yet materialized.

Gazprom sees the Chinese market as an opportunity to increase its revenues in other regions, following the geopolitical uncertainty, which prevents the Russian energy giant from exporting gas to European countries. Gas demand in China is constantly increasing due to industrial growth and a lack of major suppliers. Earlier estimates suggest that gas demand in China may increase in the corridor from 9 to 14 percent in 2023.