Construction work on the fourth line of the Central Asia-China gas pipeline network started in Tajikistan on Saturday, China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) said on its website Monday.
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China's President Xi Jinping and Tajikistan's President Emomali Rahmon kicked off the opening ceremony for the section.
The 1,000 km Line D, with a transmission capacity of 30 billion cubic meters/year, will send natural gas from the supergiant Galkynysh field in Turkmenistan to China.
Galkynysh's first phase, which started in September 2013, has a capacity of 30 Bcm/year and an estimated cost of $10 billion, while the whole complex has reserves of 26.2 trillion cubic meters.
The second phase also has a capacity of 30 Bcm/year.
The fourth pipeline, which runs through Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, will be incorporated into the existing pipeline network that brings gas from Central Asian countries to China.
The current pipeline network, comprising lines A, B and C with a total length of around 5,496 km, passes through Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan before reaching China's western Xinjiang province.
Line D, which is expected to start gas supplies from 2016, will help increase China's total gas imports from Central Asia to 85 Bcm/year.
Volumes of gas from Turkmenistan will hit 65 Bcm/year by then.
In May, President Xi Jinping and Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov signed an agreement to raise imports of Turkmen natural gas to 65 Bcm/year by 2016, and start the construction work of the fourth line.