Astana offers to change Russian-Chinese gas pipeline route again

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Astana proposes an alternative way to supply the Russian gas to China, the newspaper "Kommersant" reports.

It is planned to build the Russian-Chinese gas pipeline right in the Altai Mountains. Last summer, Astana came up with the proposal to build the pipeline through the territory of Kazakhstan, including through that of Astana, and to cross the Chinese border near the border points of Khorgos or Alashankou.

According to the newspaper, Kazakhstan suggests that "Gazprom" should use the infrastructure that already exists in the country to export gas to China. At present, "Gazprom" supplies the southern regions of Kazakhstan via the gas pipeline "Bukhara - Ural" (reverse mode operation since autumn 2014), then gas is fed into the gas pipeline "Bozoi - Shymkent", which is connected to the main gas pipeline "Central Asia - China", via which gas is delivered to Beijing from Turkmenistan. "As for the possibility to supply gas via this transit route to China, we are definitely interested in it," the Head of "KazMunaiGas" Sauat Mynbayev said to the newspaper.

As for the use of the "Bukhara - Ural" gas pipeline operating in reverse mode, "Gazprom" told the newspaper that that allowed Kazakhstan to reduce the import of Uzbek gas. "In theory, when the "Beineu-Bozoi-Shymkent" gas pipeline is constructed, and there`s enough of the resource base, Kazakhstan will be able to supply the southern region itself," noted representative of the monopoly.

"Gazprom" doesn`t comment the use of the route for exporting gas to China. But the newspaper`s source in the company noted that the proposal didn`t seem very attractive and the construction of the "Altai" gas pipeline is an absolute priority.

Text and pictures by IA Novosti-Kazakhstan