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December 14, 2009

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China-Kazakh Pipeline Unveiled

THE leaders of China and Kazakhstan have jointly unveiled the Kazakh section of a natural gas pipeline that will tap into Central Asia's vast energy riches.

The 1,300-kilometer Kazakhstan-China pipeline is the Central Asian nation's first export route that completely bypasses Russia.

The commissioning ceremony on Saturday in the southern Kazakh township of Otar was watched by televised link from the capital, Astana, by visiting Chinese President Hu Jintao and his Kazakh counterpart Nursultan Nazarbayev.

Kazakh state energy company KazMunaiGaz says the pipeline will eventually be able to transport 30 billion cubic meters of gas annually from Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. Capacity could be boosted to 40 billion cubic meters, the company said.


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