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Gas import from Myanmar hits over pricing

India has been facing competition from China, South Korea and Thailand for importing gas and Yangon is looking for better prices, says GAIL's MD UD Choubey.

business Updated: Jun 21, 2007 14:10 IST

India's plan to import gas from Myanmar has hit certain roadblocks with Yangon looking for competitive prices from other Asian countries, officials said in Agartala on Thursday.

"India has been facing competition from China, South Korea and Thailand for importing gas from Myanmar's Sitwe area with Yangon looking for better prices for its gas," UD Choubey, chairman-cum-managing director (CMD) of the Gas Authority of India Ltd (GAIL), said.

India is pushing a $3-billion pipeline plan to import gas from Myanmar.

"GAIL, which is the preferred buyer of gas from Myanmar, has proposed eight alternative routes including one via the northeast without touching Bangladesh," Choubey said.

The state-owned GAIL had already submitted a feasibility report to the union petroleum ministry for the 1,400 km long pipeline from Myanmar to the national grid station at Gaya in Bihar via the northeast and West Bengal.

Meanwhile, GAIL would soon start exploration works for gas in west Tripura's Teliamura areas.

"An estimated five million cubic metres of gas can be produced daily from the proposed 1,680 square km exploration areas," the GAIL CMD said.

This is for the first time in northeast India, GAIL would undertake exploration works, for which at least two big rigs would be deployed.

"GAIL has identified 30 major cities in India, including Lucknow, Patna, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Chennai to implement its city gas projects by 2009," Choubey added.

GAIL, currently supplying piped natural gas to more than 6,410 domestic consumers and about 100 commercial and industrial units in Agartala, has commissioned eastern India's first CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) project for vehicles in Agartala on Wednesday.