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Dhaka, Yangon, Delhi to sign deal in March

From The Daily Star, Bangladesh
February 28, 2005
link to this article.

A tripartite accord between Bangladesh, India and Myanmar will be signed next month in Dhaka for the proposed trans-border natural gas pipeline.

Indian Petroleum Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar yesterday said representatives of the three countries agreed on the draft memorandum of understanding (MoU) at a technical meeting in Yangon last week.

The tripartite agreement will be signed in Dhaka by the end of March, he added.

The 290-km pipeline will run through Arakan province of Myanmar and Indian states of Mizoram and Tripura before passing through Bangladesh to Kolkata to transport gas from a Myanmarese offshore field.

Aiyar said a joint project team of officials from oil firms of the three countries will be formed to study the feasibility of the pipeline project in six months.

The team will also detail the financing and operational aspects and maintenance of the project.

It will decide the volumes, quantity and price of gas and size of the pipeline, he said, adding, "We hope the construction of the pipeline will begin next year."

Bangladesh, which will earn about $70-80 million annually as transit fee for the pipeline, wants it to run through Cox's Bazar.

Aiyar said he will visit Dhaka next month for the signing of the MoU with Myanmar Energy Minister Lun Thi and Bangladesh Minister for Energy and Mineral Resources AKH Mosharraf Hossain.

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