The construction of the third branch of the gas pipeline running to China has been completed in Uzbekistan, the management of Uzbekneftegaz National Holding Company told Trend on Dec.19. The project cost totaled $2.05 billion. The source said that the linear part of the gas pipeline has been fully welded and laid throughout its full length. It is expected that the third branch will be filled with gas in Q1 of 2015. The length of the third branch of the Uzbek section is 530 kilometers, while its design capacity is equal to 25 billion cubic meters of gas per year. Uzbekistan-China gas pipeline is the section of the CentralAsia-China gas pipeline running through Uzbekistan. The gas pipeline is designed to export natural gas from Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan to China. The construction of the Central Asia-China gas pipeline started in 2008. Its total length nears 7,000 kilometers, while the pipe’s diameter equals 1,067 millimeters. The first branch of the gas pipeline was commissioned in December 2009 and the construction of the second branch of the gas pipeline was completed in 2010. The total capacity of the two branches is 30 billion cubic meters of gas per year. The operator of the project on the Uzbek section is Uzbek-Chinese Asia Trans Gas LLC JV created by Uzbekneftegaz National Holding Company and China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC). Uzbekistan and China signed an agreement in 2013 to construct and operate the fourth branch of Uzbekistan-China gas pipeline with the capacity of 30 billion cubic meters of gas per year. The fourth branch is designed to run on Turkmenistan-Uzbekistan-Tajikistan-Kyrgyzstan-China route. The export contract to supply Uzbek natural gas to China was signed in October 2011. The framework agreement envisages the purchase of 10 billion cubic meters of Uzbek gas by China per year. Uzbekistan ranks third for the natural gas production volume among CIS countries. At the same time, it is among the top 10 largest gas producing countries of the world. Around 60 billion cubic meters of gas is produced in Uzbekistan per year.