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ASHGABAT, September 3 (Itar-Tass) - Chinese President Xi Jinping is beginning a tour of Central Asia with a state visit to Turkmenistan, which will last for two days. The visit will focus on long-term and reliable supplies of Turkmen gas to China through the trans-Asian gas pipeline.
Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov and Chinese President Xi Jinping will travel to the Galkynysh gas field, where the opening ceremony for the start of commercial production will be held. On the results of the visit the sides are expected to sign a package of documents aimed at “the use of the vast economic and resource potential of the partnership,” the press service of the Turkmen government reported. According to it, “the opening of the complex of production facilities at Galkynysh gas field is timed to the Chinese president’s visit.” In terms of reserves, which are estimated at 26.2 billion cubic metres, it is second in the world and is seen by Beijing as the main raw material base of trans-Asian deliveries.
China allocated loans worth 8.1 billion US dollars for the Galkynysh field development. They were provided for the development of the infrastructure of the field at which more than 30,000 people are employed with thousands of machinery and equipment units. China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), which has drilled 22 wells, built a plant and a complex of other industrial facilities, participates in the field development.
Turkmenistan’s State Concern Turkmengaz told Itar-Tass that at the talks the sides plan to agree on the next loan tranche, intended for the second stage of the field development. According to the state-owned concern, Turkmenistan and China have signed contracts on the supply of around 40 billion cubic metres of gas a year. During the first half of 2013, the country exported to China about 15 billion cubic metres of gas. At the intergovernmental level, the sides have an agreement to increase the total supply volume by an additional 25 billion cubic metres a year.
The Chinese Embassy in Ashgabat reported that 22 Chinese companies that are involved in 65 joint projects - in the spheres of transport, communications, science and technology, the textile industry, are working in Turkmenistan. In 2012, the trade turnover between the two countries exceeded 10 billion US dollars. This year, Turkmenistan plans to open a trade mission in China.