India to Develop Energy Network in Rakhine State of Myanmar

India is very keen to explore the shared future in energy network along with three key neighbouring countries, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Nepal. These three countries have assured India at the highest level that it will abide with the Indian proposal to build energy networks.

Simultaneously, there has also been positive signs of giving greater participation to Indian companies in Myanmar and Bangladesh’s energy sector. The way India has tried to improve bilateral relations at all levels with Myanmar and Bangladesh for the past few years, these countries are now ready to open their markets more Indian companies to do business. The Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan has visited Myanmar, Bangladesh and Nepal recently.

One of the major features of this network will be that every member country will be able to supply and fulfil the energy requirements of other participating nations. Its length will be approximately 7000 km and it will pass through Myanmar’s Sittwe (in the state of Rakhine) and Chittagong of Bangladesh besides most of the North Eastern states of India. To make this network a success, India wants a big stake in energy stores in Myanmar and Bangladesh.

According to sources in the Ministry of Petroleum, the government of Bangladesh is soon going to block the private sector for exploration and excavation. These blocks are located in the most difficult areas of Bangladesh with petroleum reserves. Indian government company ONGC (Foreign) has bought two key blocks in Bangladesh in 2014 and is doing a good investment there. According to the sources, India has been given a high-level assurance in Bangladesh that the Indian companies will be given full support for this project. It was agreed that during the visit of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to India in April 2017, that the Indian companies will invest $ 9 billion in the energy sector in Bangladesh.

On behalf of Bangladesh, India has been trying to get a share in the huge energy reserves of Myanmar for a long time. Due to China’s domination, India for a long time did not have massive success there, which might see a change now. During the visit of PM Narendra Modi to Myanmar earlier this month, there has been a lot of important talk about the energy sector. ONGC (Foreign) considers Myanmar as its potential attractive investment destination. The company has a stake in four blocks already, but its total production is extremely low.

Source: The Eur Asian Times