The leaders of China and three Central Asian countries have inaugurated a natural gas pipeline from Turkmenistan to China.

The Samandepe gas pipeline runs across Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan into China’s western Xinjiang region.

The pipeline is planned to pump up to 40 billion cubic meters of Turkmen gas to China a year over the next 30 years. It is scheduled to reach its projected capacity by 2013.

The pipeline is 1,833km long, of which 188km is in Turkmenistan and 530km in Uzbekistan.