India Vying for LNG Terminal at Chabahar Port

India Vying for LNG Terminal at Chabahar Port India Vying for LNG Terminal at Chabahar Port

India is interested in setting up an LNG terminal at Chahabar Port in Iran to import natural gas from the Persian Gulf nation, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said.

New Delhi is keen to enhance its engagement with hydrocarbon-rich Tehran, which is lining up $20 billion worth of investment in oil and gas as well as petrochemical and fertilizer projects, Economic Times reported.

Pradhan said he conveyed the interest of Indian companies in setting up fertilizer and petrochemical plants, including in the Chahabar Special Economic Zone, during his visit to Tehran on April 9.

"The projects can be either in joint venture between Indian and Iranian public sector companies or with private sector partners," he said in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha here.

He said he asked Iran to allocate land in SEZ for the project but no agreement has so far been signed on this.

The oil minister also expressed India's interest in importing LPG from Iran and proposed to set up an extraction plant in Chahabar.

"India is also keen on importing natural gas from Iran either in ships, LNG or through the proposed Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline," he said.

During his visit, he also "expressed India's interest in setting up an LNG plant and gas cracker in Chahabar Port," the reply said.

Pradhan asked Iran for favorable treatment in the pricing of gas for India and also the supply of gas at competitive price and on long-term basis for the joint venture projects.

"Competitive gas pricing was crucial in making the projects attractive for the prospective investors," he said.

The minister also discussed with his Iranian counterpart the repayment of nearly $6.5 billion that Indian refiners owe to Iran as also rights to develop Farzad-B gas field in the Persian Gulf discovered by OVL.

"After lifting of sanctions by the international community following the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action agreement between P5+1 (China, France, Russia, UK and the US, plus Germany), the European Union and Iran, the Central Bank of Iran has requested RBI for bringing the country under Asian Clearing Union mechanism," he said.

Pradhan said after this system is established, all future trade transactions with Iran would be settled through the ACU.

"RBI in turn has sought concurrence from the Department of Economic Affairs for bringing Iran under the ACU mechanism. Actual settlement through ACU mechanism hinges on availability of international euro channels for making the payment," he said.