(EnergyAsia, January 28 2013, Monday) — The Chinese government has completed a feasibility study for the construction of the Trans-Asia Railway linking China with Central Asia, according to a regional coal player citing Kyrgyzstan’s Transport Ministry.

Australia’s Celsius Coal Limited, which is developing coking coal deposits in Kyrgyzstan’s Uzgen Basin, said the proposed railway route passes within 10km of its projects as part of a 250km link to the Chinese city of Kashgar. It will also serve neighbouring Uzkbekistan.

According to Celsius, which plans to build roads to boost coal exports to China, the Trans-Asia Railway is expected to begin operating from end-2016.

China has announced that it plans to establish a special economic zone at Kashgar in Xinjiang that will serve as a manufacturing centre for export to Central Asia and Russia. By 2015, Xinjiang is slated to have built 170,000 km of new roads, 8,200 km of railway and 22 airports. The region is also forecast to import 30 million tonnes of coking coal from other countries and provinces of China by then.

Celsius said Xinjiang will be an important “beach head” market for its plans to export coking coal from Uzgen Basin to China.