Indian Minister says “not bitter” over Sampur, will look at LNG option


Sep 28, 2016 (LBO) – India has had “no bitter experience” and will not be pulled back by the halting of the Sampur coal power plant and will engage with Sri Lanka in a way both countries benefit out from it, a visiting Indian minister said.

“These are national priorities and international commitments, both of which will have to be reconciled,” Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of (Independent Charge) for Commerce and Industry of India, said Tuesday.

“If Sri Lanka has chosen to move out of coal and look at other renewable sources of energy, we in India, although there are difficulties, will have to get over this issue.”

We have to sit and engage with Sri Lanka in a way both countries benefit from it, she added.

Sitharaman said India will consider Sri Lanka’s intention to move into Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), as a speedy solution to the problem is needed because Sri Lanka’s energy requirements are growing.

“It is important to respond in time. We are having the option of the joint working groups, which will look at this.”

“Supply of gas, if it comes, would be from Kochi in Kerala. There are various ways that this joint working group will look into it.”

The Indian government is also looking at investments areas like the Palali airport, and Trincomalee oil tanks.

“Lots of discussion is going on about the Trincomalee oil project. We are very clear that it is moving forward well and some kind of an understanding will be reached on how this is going to progress in phases as it cannot be done in one go.”

“These are being worked on by both sides constructively.”

Sri Lanka’s Petroleum Minister will visit India on 5 October to carry out further discussions in this regard, she said.

The Trincomalee oil project announced earlier will be a joint venture between the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation and Indian IOC. It is in a development stage of 30 tanks at a time.

Indian Government has offered to develop the Palali airport but the Sri Lankan Government is yet to make a call on this.

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