Basic information on the CAC network
The Central Asia-Centre (CAC) network is a Gazprom controlled system of natural gas pipelines, which run from
Turkmenistan to Uzbekistan and from Kazakhstan to Russia.
The eastern branch consists of Central Asia-Centre 1, 2, 4 and 5 pipelines, which start from the south-eastern gas fields of Turkmenistan. The western branch consists of the CAC-3 pipeline and a project to build a new parallel Caspian pipeline. The western branch runs from Turkmen Caspian Sea territories to the north. The branches meet in western Kazakhstan. From there the pipelines run north where they are connected to the Russian natural gas pipeline system.
The system was built between 1960 and 1988. Construction began after discovery of the Dzharkak field, and the first
section was completed in 1960. CAC-1 and 2 were commissioned in 1969 and CAC-4 was commissioned in 1973.
In 1976, two parallel lines were laid between Shatlyk and Khiva. CAC-5 was commissioned in 1985 and in 1986-88, the Dauletabad-Khiva line was connected through a 1,420-mm pipeline. The western branch (CAC-3) was constructed in 1972-1975.
In 2003, the late President of Turkmenistan Saparmurat Niyazov proposed to renovate existing systems and construct a
new parallel pipeline to the western branch. On 12 May 2007, Vladimir Putin of Russia, Nursultan Nazarbayev of
Kazakhstan and Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov of Turkmenistan signed a memorandum for renovation and expansion of the
western branch of the pipeline.
On 20 December 2007, Russia, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan finalized an agreement on the construction of a new Caspian pipeline parallel to the existing CAC-3 pipeline (Bekdash-Europe pipeline).
Almost all Uzbek and Turkmen natural gas is delivered through the CAC pipeline system, mainly through the eastern
branch due to location of production sites and poor technical condition of the western branch. CAC-1, 2, 4 and 5
pipelines are supplied from gas fields in the South-East of Turkmenistan, mainly from the Dauletabad gas field.
The eastern branch starts from the Dauletabad field and continues through the Shatlyk gas field east of Tejen to Khiva, Uzbekistan. From there the pipeline system transports gas northwest along Amu Darya to the Kungrad compressor station in Uzbekistan.
From Kungrad, most of the gas is carried via Kazakhstan to the Alexandrov Gai gas metering station in Russia. At
Alexandrov Gai CAC pipelines meet with Soyuz and Orenburg-Novopskov pipelines. From there two lines run northwest to
Moscow, and two others proceed across the Volga river to the North Caucasus-Moscow transmission system.
The diameter of most pipelines varies between 1,020-1,420 mm. Current capacity of the system is 44 bn cm per year. An agreement is in place to increase capacity to 55 bn cm per year by 2010 and through modernization there is potential to increase capacity to 90 bn cm per year.
The western branch originates at Ekarem, near the Turkmen-Iranian border and runs north. It is supplied by gas from
fields scattered along the Caspian coast between Okarem and Nebit Dag. It continues via Uzen in Kazakhstan to the
Beyneu compressor station, where it meets the eastern branch of the CAC.
South of Cheleken, the western system consists of 710 mm diameter pipeline, and between Cheleken and Beyneau 1,220 mm diameter pipeline.
On 20 December 2007, Russia, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan agreed to construct a new Caspian pipeline parallel to the
existing CAC-3 pipeline. The pipeline will be built between Belek compressor station in Turkmenistan and Alexandrov
Gai compressor station.
The capacity of the new pipeline will be 20 bn cm a year. The construction of the pipeline will start in the second half of 2009.