17:05 GMT23 September 2020
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    In an attempt to emulate China’s energy diplomacy with its South Asian neighbors, India has made a strategic decision to build an energy supply network across the region.

    India is planning to set up a liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal in Myanmar, India's Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Friday. The Modi administration plans to roll out similar energy facilities in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. 

    READ MORE: India-China Join Hands to Counter OPEC’s Dominance in Asian Oil Market

    "Indian Oil Corp (IOC) is in talks with Myanmar companies for setting up LPG storage facilities and Petronet LNG is working on setting up an LNG terminal there," Pradhan said while speaking at a seminar on 'Assessing India's Connectivity with Its Neighborhood' in New Delhi.

    For the past year, India has locked horns with China in securing energy-related partnerships with neighbors throughout South Asia.

    Since last year, Indian refiners have been exploring options to supply petroleum products to Myanmar via land. This decision was made after China and Myanmar, in April 2017, signed an agreement to build a 771-kilometer crude oil pipeline at a cost of $1.5 billion, which would allow China to import 22 million tons of crude oil per year through the Bay of Bengal. 

    In Sri Lanka, India is working on setting up an LNG terminal and a 500 MW LNG-fired power plant near Colombo.

    READ MORE: India to Save $1.4 Billion Under Renegotiated LNG Deal With Gazprom – Minister

    "Also, Indian companies are working on connecting India's gas grid with that of Bangladesh and supplying gas for power generation at Khulna Power Plant," Pradhan said, adding that Petronet is also looking at building a 7.5 million metric ton per year LNG import terminal in Bangladesh to feed that country's energy needs using imported gas.

    India has already signed up with Gazprom of Russia and the Australian government to fulfill neighboring Bangladesh' LNG requirement.

    According to the Rockefeller Foundation, Myanmar has one of the lowest electrification rates in Asia; more than 60 percent of the population lacks access to electricity. According to a report published in Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews in 2016, 70 percent of the country lives in rural communities where electrification rates average about 16 percent. 


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