India has proposed to construct a petroleum refinery in Thanlyn region near Yangon, and is planning to invest USD 6 billion. “The project which could be a win-win arrangement for both countries, as of now has IOCL expressing its interest in the project,” sources told Financial Express Online.
This had come up during the joint visit by foreign secretary Harsh Shringla and army chief MM Naravane to the neighbouring eastern neighbour,
Both the foreign secretary and the Indian army chief had called on State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and Commander in Chief of Defense Services Senior General Min Aung Hlaing. Besides the energy-related cooperation both sides talked about maintenance of security and stability in their border areas. They also reiterated their mutual commitment not to allow their respective territories to be used for “activities inimical to each other”.
As has been reported earlier, both countries have been keen on expanding the scope of cooperation in the energy sector. Myanmar, which is situated between India and China, is a resource-rich country, and has a proven 20 trillion cubic feet (570 billion cubic metres) of natural gas. In the energy sector, the two countries enjoy a robust partnership and also recognise the benefits of deeper integration in the energy sector.
With investments of over USD1.2 billion, Myanmar has the highest Indian investment in any country in South Asia, and very recently, India approved an investment of over USD 120 million in the Shwe Oil and Gas project.
To meet its increasing energy demands, India was keen for a pact on the Myanmar-Bangladesh-India gas pipeline, which could not materialise. However, India has been in constant talks with its eastern neighbour. The government of Myanmar has now identified natural gas and a critical component in its recently restructured energy sector.
The bilateral cooperation in the energy sector received a further boost during the visit of the President of Myanmar earlier this year, when the two countries signed an MOU for Cooperation in the Field of Petroleum Products. This means: that both sides will cooperate in refining, stockpiling, blending, and retail, among other areas. And, there is an institutional mechanism to guide bilateral cooperation in the energy sector — is the JWG on Oil and Gas, which is headed at the Secretary level and earlier this year in June they had the second meeting.