Asia Trans Gas, created on a 50-50 basis, is the project initiator and financing body (using borrowed funds) for the project, according to an instruction from Uzbek President Islam Karimov on implementing the pipeline’s construction and operation.
The instruction lays out the timeframe for the project, specifying 20 April, 2008 as the deadline for approving the pipeline’s route and 1 June as the deadline for identifying financing sources and opening financing for construction of pipeline sites.
Construction of the first line of the pipeline and Compressor Station-1 (CS-1) will be completed before 31 December 2009 and begin operation in January 2010. The second line, along with CS-2 and CS-3, will be completed and begin operation before 31 December 2011. Uzbekneftegaz and China’s Trans-Asia Gas Pipeline Co Ltd. will oversee project implementation.
Uzbekistan and China signed an intergovernmental agreement in April 2007 on the principles for the construction and operation of a 530-km pipeline with a capacity of 30 bcm to transit Turkmen gas. It is not planned to export Uzbek gas through this pipeline.
It was also reported that Uzbekneftegaz plans to raise US$1.5 billion before 2010 to expand and upgrade its internal trunk gas pipeline network.
Uzbekneftegaz is the monopoly operator of the nation’s oil and gas sector. It was set up in 1998 and unites six stock companies. Uzbekistan is the second biggest gas producer in the CIS and one of the top ten worldwide. It produces about 60 billion cubic meters a year, a portion of which is exported.