Tuesday, August 07, 2012 -
Kyrgyzstan will save $30 million annually with the construction of a Kazakh-Chinese pipeline via Kyrgyz territory, a senior petroleum official said in Bishkek Tuesday.
“The proposed oil pipeline from Kazakhstan would save Kyrgyzstan around $30 million per year,” Chu Chan, director-general of Kara-Balta petroleum refinery construction project, said during a meeting with Kyrgyz Prime Minister Omurbek Babanov.
Project planners envisage the 70-mile pipeline stretching from Shymkent in southern Kazakhstan to Kara-Balta and on to Xinjiang province in China.
China hopes to import 10 million tons of Central Asia oil per year through the pipeline.
“Transportation of oil by rail will cost us $40-$50 per ton, but just $10 per ton through the pipeline,” the KyrTAG news agency reported Chu as saying.
China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) is ready to build the pipeline, which is awaiting a go-ahead from all three countries.
“[Kazakhstan] in principle does not rule out the construction of the pipeline project and is currently considering implementation of the project,” said Kyrgyz Minister of Energy and Industry Askarbek Shadiev on Monday.
The pipeline project will be on the negotiation table during a summit between the leaders of Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan in mid-August.
Kara-Balta refinery, due for completion by the end of this year, would become a key element in the pipeline route.
In related news, Babanov promised that an overwhelming majority of the new job positions created at the refinery would go to Kyrgyz citizens.
“Ninety percent of all workers should be Kyrgyz. It is indispensable for the functioning of the plant,” KyrTAG reported Babanov as telling key figures in the refinery project.