China’s Vice Premier, He Lifeng, has been discussing with his counterpart Rustam Emomali of Tajikistan an acceleration of the Line “D” construction of the Turkmenistan-Uzbekistan-Tajikistan-Kyrgyzstan-China gas pipeline. Emomali is also responsible for Tajikistan’s State power and is on an official visit to China to deal directly with this and other projects bottleneck issues. China is keen to develop alternative sources of energy supplies in order to provide competition with Russia. The issue is likely to have significant spin-off benefits for Tajikistan.
The Tajik State Power Executive, based in the Tajik capital Dushanbe, stated “It was considered necessary to attract modern Chinese investments and technologies to the development of the energy industry in Tajikistan in order to accelerate the construction of the “D” line of the Turkmenistan-Uzbekistan-Tajikistan-Kyrgyzstan-China gas pipeline.”
He and Emomali discussed the development of Sino-Tajik commercial and economic cooperation, increasing bilateral trade volumes, attracting investment from Chinese business to the economy of Tajikistan, joint projects in the fields of transport, energy, industry, mineral resources processing, agriculture, and pharmaceuticals, contributing to the formation of a production chain and the creation of new jobs in Tajikistan.
The fourth ‘Line D’ of the gas pipeline to China is intended to supply China with an additional 25 bcm of gas per year as part of the second stage of the development of the giant Galkynysh gas field in Turkmenistan. Currently, negotiations are underway and the details of the contract for the start of drilling and well infrastructure development at Galkynysh are being agreed upon as part of the second stage. The fourth line of the gas pipeline, unlike the first three, will pass through Kyrgyzstan, and not through Kazakhstan.
The first stage of the development of Galkynysh ensured the production of 30 bcm of gas per year. These volumes of gas go partially to the domestic market of Turkmenistan and to China through three lines of the Turkmenistan-Uzbekistan-Kazakhstan-China gas pipeline.
Emomali’s involvement in persuading China to accelerate the project is likely to be well-received in Beijing; and may well result in a flurry of Chinese investment in the country to underpin the pipelines development.
Source: Silk Road Briefing