Samandepe: China`s President Hu Jintao on Monday opened a pipeline to transport Turkmen natural gas to China, a major victory for Beijing in its drive to access Central Asian energy resources.
"China is positive about our cooperation and the opening of this gas pipeline is another platform for collaboration and cooperation between our friendly nations," Hu said.
Hu turned a symbolic wheel which opened the pipeline to start the first gas flowing from Samandepe, the starting point of the pipeline in eastern Turkmenistan.
The pipeline runs for 1,800 kilometres (1,100 miles) -- snaking through Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan -- before linking up with a further 5,000-plus kilometres of pipeline in China`s far-west Xinjiang region.
The China National Petroleum Corporation will eventually import up to 40 billion cubic metres of gas a year through the pipeline when it reaches full capacity in 2012-2013.