India proposes oil refinery to expand presence in Myanmar energy

India wants to build a US$6 billion oil refinery in Thanlyin, Yangon, to rival China’s investments in Myanmar’s energy sector, according to India’s Foreign Secretary Harsh Shringla and Indian Army Chief MM Naravane during their joint visit to Myanmar this week, Indian media have reported.

Myanmar has yet to confirm or announce the proposal. Under a Memorandum of Understanding between Myanmar and India signed during President U Win Myint’s trip to India in February, the two governments had agreed to advance cooperation in the sector.

U Min Min Oo, deputy permanent secretary from the Ministry of Electricity and Energy (MOEE), said the two governments are discussing possibilities to cooperate in the downstream oil and gas sector in Myanmar.

The MOEE is now also negotiating terms to purchase power from India via cross border transmission following a bilateral meeting held on September 3 between the relevant ministries and officials, including Indian Ambassador to Myanmar Mr Saurabh Kumar.

India is raising efforts to promote its presence in Myanmar energy under its Look East and Neighbours First policies even as China expands investments in the downstream sector.

Several Chinese companies have shown interest to invest in building large oil refinery projects at the Dawei Special Economic Zone in Thanintharyi Region. Chinabased Yunnan Indo-Pacific Group (Indo-Pacific) Zhongan and CNPC East China Design Institute have proposed field surveys for a large-scale oil refinery project in the SEZ which can refine 8 million tonnes of oil a year.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong New Energy Investment Holdings Limited, China Huanqiun Contracting and Engineering Co., Ltd, China Petroleum Pipeline Engineering Co., Ltd and China Energy Engineering Corporation are also interested in building an oil refinery in Myanmar and have submitted proposals to the MOEE.

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Source : Myanmar Times

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