Xi Jinping’s trip to Turkmenistan was a great success, he and his counterpart, Turkmen president (and former dentist) Gurbanguli Berdymukhammedov, signed a deal for the former Soviet republic to export over 65 billion cubic metres of natural gas to China per year.
RIA Novosti reports:
The two leaders participated in an opening ceremony for gas processing facilities at the Galkynysh (“Renaissance”) field in the southeastern Mary province that borders Afghanistan, the state-run Turkmenistan Segodnya website said.
Galkynysh is the world’s second largest natural gas deposit with reserves of up to 26.2 trillion cubic meters.
China loaned Turkmenistan $8 billion to develop the field that will export its gas to China via an 1,800-kilometer (1125 mile) pipeline that runs across Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan.
The mainly Muslim nation, in which Berdymukhamedov enjoys virtually unlimited powers and is titled Arkadag (The Patron), has pinned its hopes of future prosperity on developing the mammoth reservoir.
Berdymukhamedov also announced that the fourth branch of a gas pipeline to China, running through Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, will be built to ship the 25 bcm of gas.