NEW DELHI: India, Bangladesh are contemplating financial modalities of establishing a gas pipeline that will be covering most the north-eastern states and West Bengal.
Speaking at International Conference on India-Bangladesh Multi-Sectoral Cooperation here Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Joint Secretary Sripriya Ranganathan said that energy security is becoming new paradigm of India-Bangladesh relationship.
“We are working towards getting a gas pipeline between the two countries,” she said. India’s Oil and Natural Gas Company (ONGC) and Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) are in negotiation to build the 6,900 km long gas pipeline that will be linking Bangladesh, Myanmar and north-eastern states.
“The negotiations are going on to finalise who will finance the pipeline,” Ranganathan told the New Indian Expess. The pipeline project has been conceived under the Hydrocarbon Vision 2030 for North-eastern region and is planned to connect Chittagong (in Bangladesh), Sitwe (in Myanmar) with north-eastern states. A lot of gas is burned in the north-east as it cannot be supplied due to lack of infrastructure. Now a joint Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) plant is planned at Chittagong from where the gas will be piped to the north-eastern region.
The pipeline project had figured during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s talk with his Bangladesh counterpart Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in 2015. Already electricity is being supplied to seven of the eight North-eastern states from the Palatana power project on Gomti river. India has also supplied 100 MW of power to Bangladesh since March 2015.
“Power and energy is important dimension of bilateral ties. The Rampal Project (a joint Thermal Power plant being set up in Sunderbans) is nearing completion, we are planning expansion of eastern Bangladesh refineries,” Ranganathan added. The two countries are seeking to expand their energy cooperation to BBIN (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal) framework.