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ONGC may set up power plant in Myanmar

by Michael last modified 2006-12-21 18:26

Rakteem Katakey / New Delhi December 21, 2006; While the India-Myanmar gas pipeline continues to hang fire, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) may push for a gas-based power project in Myanmar to bring power to the power-starved north-eastern states.

Source:

The idea of setting up a power plant in Myanmar was suggested by former ONGC chairman and managing director Subir Raha during a company conference on November 28. Raha had pushed for the project saying it would not only generate huge employment in Myanmar, but also negate the risks of laying a pipeline.
 
“ONGC is seriously considering the possibility now,” a senior ONGC executive said.
 
ONGC, through its overseas investment arm, ONGC Videsh, owns 20 per cent in Myanmar’s A-1 and A-3 blocks, which lie off Myanmar’s west coast.
 
South Korea’s Daewoo International holds a 60 per cent operating interest in the two blocks, while Korea Gas Corporation owns 10 per cent. GAIL India also holds 10 per cent in both the blocks. The combined proven reserves of the two blocks are estimated at 10 trillion cubic feet (tcf).
 
“Daewoo is keen to sell the gas to India, rather than take it to Seoul. Also, the pipeline plan from Myanmar remains stagnant. Foreign companies are also not keen on investing in a pipeline through the sensitive north eastern states,” an industry analyst said.
 
Sources say that the ONGC-GAIL combine can look at a 1,000 mw power project. given the huge reserves. This could mean an investment of around Rs 5,000 crore. A gas pipeline from Myanmar through north-east India to end at Gaya, as proposed by GAIL, would cost about $3 billion.
 
However, ONGC is yet to discuss the project with Daewoo and GAIL. It is the Myanmar government that has the final say on where the gas from the A-1 and A-3 fields go. GAIL has been appointed by Myanmar as the agency responsible for marketing the gas from the A1 block.
 
GAIL has also submitted a bid for importing 3.5 million tonne liquefied natural gas annually from Myanmar. GAIL plans to transport the gas through a cross-border pipeline for which various routes have been proposed.
 
“A power plant in Myanmar itself will reduce the risks that a pipeline brings with it. Bangladesh too can be totally bypassed this way,” an industry source said.


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