India Ready to Invest $15b in Iran

India Ready to Invest $15b in IranIndia Ready to Invest $15b in Iran

India is ready to invest more than $15.2 billion in Iranian projects, including taking up full-scale development of Chabahar Port, provided Tehran offers better terms, such as cheaper gas, India’s Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari said on Wednesday.

“We are ready to make a huge investment in Iran and this is mainly linked to gas pricing offered by Iran ... Gas price is a crucial issue,” Gadkari told a news conference, Reuters reported.

Days before the historic nuclear deal between Tehran and the West in July, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani offered India a greater role in infrastructure projects, including the overall development of Chabahar Port.

“India, Iran’s second biggest oil client after China, hopes to take a decision on Iran’s latest offer by early October after obtaining reports from other ministries, including petroleum, chemicals, fertilizers and steel by Monday,” shipping secretary Rajive Kumar said.

The port of Chabahar in southeast Iran is central to India’s efforts to circumvent regional rival Pakistan and open up a route to landlocked Afghanistan where it has developed close security ties and economic interests.

The port can also serve as a gateway to the resource-rich countries of Central Asia.

Gas Discount

“India is seeking gas at $1.50 per million British thermal units compared to $2.95 offered by Iran for building a urea plant there,” Gadkari said.

He said building a plant in Iran and importing urea from there to India will help save a part of the $12.13 billion (800 billion rupees) in subsidies and halve the prices for farmers.

“If the gas price is reasonable, then all departments in India can together take up projects in the special economic zone there and investment will be more than 1 trillion rupees,” he said.

With the easing of sanctions, New Delhi is hoping for a greater and stronger role in Iran’s development by taking up projects, including building urea and petrochemical projects using gas produced in the OPEC-member nation.

In May, Gadkari and his Iranian counterpart, Abbas Akhoundi, signed an $85-million deal for India to lease two berths at the port and use them as multipurpose cargo terminals.