The Central Asia-China Gas Pipeline began to be constructed in July 2008, and became operational on December 14, 2009.
The pipeline starts at Gedaim on the border of Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, running through central Uzbekistan and southern Kazakhstan, and ends at Horgos in China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, where it will be connected to the Second West-East Gas Pipeline.
In July 2007, CNPC signed a production sharing contract to explore and develop gas fields on the right bank of the Amu-Darya River with the Turkmen State Agency for the Management and Use of Hydrocarbon Resources and a natural gas purchase and sales agreement with Turkmengazi State Concern. We then signed two basic principle agreements on gas pipeline construction and operation with KazMunayGaz and UzbekNefteGaz respectively, under the framework agreements on pipeline construction and operation between the Chinese government and the Kazakh and Uzbek governments. Under the agreements, CNPC would invest in a cross-border gas pipeline in Central Asia, through which Turkmenistan would supply China with 30 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually for 30 years.
The Central Asia-China Gas Pipeline has dual lines in parallel, each running for 1,833km. The line A became operational in December 2009. Line B is expected to be operational by the end of September, 2010. A delivery capacity of 30bcm/a will be achieved by the end of 2011. Aside from fostering economic cooperation between China and Central Asian countries, the pipeline will also be a source of prosperity for the region, promoting the development of and investment in local natural gas resources, stimulating the growth of local equipment manufacturing and construction industries, and creating employment opportunities. Construction of the project required more than 1.5 million metric tons of steel alone.
The Central Asia-China Gas Pipeline will traverse diverse and challenging geographical features. The Ili and Syr Darya rivers, for instance, with their soft riverbeds and harsh winter conditions, will pose particular difficulties for the project engineers. Using directional-drilling crossing technologies, we succeeded in passing 1.1km-long 1067mm x 28.6mm pipes 30 meters below the riverbed of the Ili River. This engineering achievement was all the more impressive because it avoided damaging the local environment and affecting water traffic.
From groundbreaking to the commission of first line at the end of 2009, the project was completed in less than 28 months. To meet these grueling time requirements, we innovated a new work method that combines low-hydrogen welding with semiautomatic welding techniques. A rate of 80-100 welds per day can be maintained, roughly one and a half times faster than the conventional "cellulose welding rods plus semi-automatic welding" technique. Aside from greater speed, this new method also reduces consumption of semi-automatic welding rods by more than 30%.
We believe in HSE management and emphasize the health and safety of our overseas constructors. In 2008, there were no accidents during the 5.89 million man hours of production, and no traffic accidents for vehicles traveling a total of 9.95 million kilometers.We strictly observe local environmental laws and regulations. All our engineering projects have passed local governments' environmental assessments. Vehicles are forbidden to travel outside the operating zone. On farmland, pipe channels are excavated strictly in accordance with rules on peeling off mature soil, piling immature and mature soil separately from each other, and backfilling the soil to restore the original situation. The long-distance pipeline is welded to ensure that there is a passage every two kilometers for cattle, sheep, and wild animals to pass across.