India offers to help develop regional energy hubwork in Sri Lanka

New Delhi, Oct 6 (IANS) India on Thursday expressed its commitment to develop a regional energy hubwork at Trincomalee in Sri Lanka and offered to work with the Sri Lankan government in developing gas infrastructure in the island nation, an official statement here said.

The offer was made by Indian Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan to the Sri Lankan Minister of Petroleum Resources Development Chandima Weerakkody at a meeting here, a Petroleum Ministry statement here said.

“Assured my Sri Lankan Counterpart of full support & offered to share our expertise in developing Sri Lanka as a regional energy hub,” Pradhan tweeted.

“Discussed various proposals from Indian Oil & Gas Public Sector Companies for developing hydrocarbon infrastructure in Sri Lanka,” he said in another tweet.

“These includes setting up of an LNG terminal near Colombo, utilisation of Upper Tank Farm through a JV, expansion of Lanka IOC operation etc,” he said in a separate tweet.

According to the Indian ministry, Pradhan told his Sri Lankan counterpart that Indian companies had engaged a reputed consultant for assessing liquefied natural gas (LNG) demand and are developing related infrastructure in Sri Lanka, while the report would be shared with Sri Lanka shortly.

Pradhan also discussed Lanka Indian Oil Corp (LIOC) activities in Sri Lanka, including increasing the number of its retail Outlets and bunkering operations and granting license to LIOC for marketing jet fuel and LPG, the statement said.

“Both the sides also discussed refurbishment of Sapugaskanda refinery and possibility of setting up of a refinery in Sri Lanka as a joint venture to address the local needs,” it said.

India also offered to assist Sri Lanka in building oil and gas pipeline networks in Sri Lanka, it added.

“Also shared the idea of setting up a Saarc Energy Group and setting up common energy facilities between Saarc Countries,” Pradhan tweeted on a proposal made to the Sri Lankan minister.