Temporary ban on import of gasoline by railway from Russia to Kazakhstan came into force on August 10, 2018. This is due to over-abundance of AI-92 gasoline in Kazakhstan after completion of modernization of oil refineries. Presently Kazakhstan has more than 300,000 tons reserves of gasoline which is almost a 30-day reserve.
China has expressed interest in joining the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project, by building a link from Pakistan to China. This could act as alternative to Chinese plans to build a fourth China-to-Turkmenistan pipeline. China-to-Turkmenistan line has to cross several mountain ranges and it would be cheaper and easier for China to build a line from Pakistan across the Karakoram Range to its Western border.
Work on TAPI gas pipeline in Pakistan was scheduled to commence in May, 2018, but could not start due to change in government. Newly elected administration of Imran Khan is expected to start doing it soon. Targeted timeline for project completion was 2021, but, under an alternate plan, the project would be finished by 2020.
Kazkah President Nursultan Nazarbayev said it was investing in several transport hubs to benefit from the trillion-dollar Belt-Road Initiative (BRI) championed by Chinese leader Xi Jinping that aims to be modern version of ancient Silk Road trading routes.
Documents containing serious corruption charges against Chinese companies relating to Kyrgyzstan’s biggest infrastructure project, a 433km road linking capital Bishkek in the North with the country’s main city in the South, Osh, have appeared in Kyrgyz media. The project is funded by a US$850 million loan from the Exim Bank of China under BRI with China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) as the main implementing partner.
A US$1.8 billion dispute between Iran and Turkmenistan relating to quality and quantity of gas supplied to Iran by the latter is headed into arbitration. Both countries have agreed to abide by the decision.
August 31, 2018