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Govt for Myanmar gas pipeline via Tripura

After B'desh govt refused to allow its territory for the tri-nation project, India is pushing the $3-billion pipeline plan.

india Updated: Nov 06, 2006 14:03 IST

The central government is considering a proposal by Tripura to lay a sub-line to link the planned India-Myanmar gas pipeline for transporting natural gas.

Union Minister of State for Commerce Jairam Ramesh said Tripura's proposal for a 160-km link pipeline for transporting natural gas from Myanmar was being considered.

"I was told by the minister (Ramesh) that the government was considering our proposal for the link pipeline," Tripura Industry and Commerce Minister Tapan Chakraborty said.

"Once the link pipeline is built, Tripura will be able to export its surplus gas to the rest of the country or can even use the gas from Myanmar to set up gas-based plants in the state."

India is pushing the $3-billion pipeline plan to import gas from Myanmar through Mizoram and Tripura.

"After the Bangladesh government refused to allow its territory for the tri-nation project, the Indian petroleum ministry has chalked out a plan to lay the pipeline via the northeast and north Bengal," said a senior Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) official.

The prospect of importing gas using a pipeline through Bangladesh was the cheapest option.

The state-owned Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) had already submitted a feasibility report to the petroleum ministry for the 1,400-km-long pipeline from Myanmar's Sitwe area to the National Grid Station at Gaya in Bihar via the northeast and West Bengal.

"A number of industries have expressed their desire to establish their units if the required quantities of gas were made available from Myanmar," said industries and commerce director Abhishek Chandra.

The ONGC is commissioning a giant 740-MW gas-based thermal power project at Palatana in south Tripura and is planning for a jump in gas production in Tripura from 1.5 million metric standard cubic metres per day (MMSCMPD) to 4.5 MMSCMPD to meet the growing demand of gas.

First Published: Nov 06, 2006 14:03 IST