Kazakhstan plans to launch Line C of gas pipeline to China in Oct

Moscow (Platts)--26 Feb 2014 649 am EST/1149 GMT

Astana plans to launch the so-called C line of the Kazakhstan-China pipeline with an initial capacity of up to 5 billion cubic meters/year in October, Sauat Mynbayev, chairman of Kazakhstan's national oil and gas producer KazMunaiGaz, said late Tuesday.

"In October 2014, we plan to launch the C line of the Kazakhstan-China trunk gas pipeline with an [initial] capacity of up to 5 Bcm/year," he said as quoted on the website of the country's Prime Minister.

China's CNPC had previously said it expected construction of the line to be completed by the end of 2013.

The line's capacity is set to reach the planned 25 Bcm/year by the fourth quarter of 2014, with 5 Bcm/year of the capacity belonging to the Kazakh side, Mynbayev said, reiterating earlier statements by Kazakh officials.

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The Kazakhstan-China route is part of the Central Asia-China gas pipeline network, which starts in Turkmenistan and cuts through Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan before ending in China's western Xinjiang province.

The C line will run parallel to the existing A and B lines of the Central Asia-China route, which are already in operation and have a total capacity of 30 Bcm/year.

Kazakhstan also plans to launch the Beyneu-Bozoy section of the domestic gas network sometime this year, Mynbayev said, earlier than the previously expected 2015 launch.

Beyneu-Bozoy, which is part of stage two of the Kazakhstan-China gas project, will continue the 6 Bcm/year Bozoy-Shymkent line launched last September. Construction of an additional pumping station is expected to bring total capacity on the Beyneu-Bozoy-Shymkent route to 10 Bcm/year.

The Bozoy-Shymkent line links up to the Central Asia-China gas route in Kazakhstan's south.

The capacity of the Beyneu-Bozoy-Shymkent route could be increased to 15 Bcm/year, according to national gas pipeline operator KazTransGaz.

--Dina Khrennikova,
--Edited by Alisdair Bowles,

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