• India to set up LNG terminal, City Gas network in Sri Lanka

    India is working on a slew of proposals aimed at strengthening bilateral energy engagement with Sri Lanka including setting up an Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminal and a dedicated City Gas Distribution (CGD) network in the neighbouring nation.

    Petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan today met his Sri Lankan counterpart Chandima Weerakkody here and discussed the Indian proposals, the oil ministry said in a statement.

    “During the meeting, both the ministers discussed various Indian proposals including joint development of Upper Tank Farm by Lanka IOC (LIOC) in Trincomalee; setting up of LNG terminal at Kerawalapitiya, near Colombo by Petronet LNG Ltd; setting up of CGD network by GAIL and use of CNG in the automotive sector of Sri Lanka,” the ministry said.

    The Sri Lankan government is trying to promote the use of clean fuel in that nation, including for power generation. Pradhan also said the Indian oil ministry has offered to work with the Lankan government for developing gas infrastructure there. He added Indian companies had engaged a reputed consultant for assessing LNG demand and are developing related infrastructure in Sri Lanka. The consultant’s report would be shared shortly.

    Weerakkody welcomed India’s cooperation and said though India’s gas-based business and infrastructure is only 20 years-old, it has the requisite experience and expertise in the sector which is ready to be shared with Sri Lanka.

    Pradhan also discussed LIOC activities in Sri Lanka including increasing the number of its retail outlets and bunkering operations and granting license to LIOC for marketing Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) and LPG. Both the sides also discussed refurbishment of Sapugaskanda refinery and possibility of setting up of a refinery in Sri Lanka as a joint venture to address the local needs. India also offered to assist Sri Lanka in building oil and gas pipeline networks.

    During the meeting, the two ministers also exchanged notes on the exploration and production activities in the Sri Lankan Mannar basin. Pradhan said ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL) and its parent company ONGC had the expertise and knowledge of the geological conditions that exist in the Cauvery basin. “These conditions are similar to Mannar basin in Sri Lanka and, hence, OVL could be a natural partner in carrying out exploration and production activities in this area,” he said.

    Pradhan also expressed India’s commitment to work with Sri Lanka to develop Trincomalee as a regional energy hub. The petroleum ministers also discussed the possibility of creating South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Energy Initiative to create sub-regional hydrocarbon infrastructure, particularly gas network, to fuel the two economies. The ministers also discussed cooperation in bio-fuel sector including training of Sri Lankan energy professionals in India. Anthony Davis Jersey

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