India offers Iran port, fertilizer investments after nuclear deal

29 November 2013 07:16  [Source: ICIS news]

India wants to invest in Chabahar Port in IranKOLKATA (ICIS)--India has offered to Tehran that it would partly fund the expansion of the Iranian port at Chabahar, on the coast of Gulf of Oman, which is to be linked to a proposed petrochemical hub in the region, a senior Indian government official said on Friday.

India has been quick off the block with investment proposals to Iran in the wake of the six-month Iranian nuclear deal with the US and six other nations and easing of sanctions, the official said.

India has also proposed an investment to the tune of around $1.2bn (€888M) by a consortium of Indian fertilizer companies for the construction of a gas-based urea manufacturing plant at Chabahar, the official added.

An invitation has been received from the Iranian embassy in New Delhi and a high level delegation of Indian officials would be visiting Tehran next month.

The team will discuss these projects and investments required for the port construction and availability and pricing of natural gas and capacity of the proposed fertilizer plant, the official said.

The delegation will comprise government officials from the ministries of fertilizer and representatives from the largest Indian fertilizer companies like Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizer Limited (RCFL), Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertilizers and Chemicals Limited (GNFCL) and Gujarat State Fertilizers and Chemicals Limited (GSFCL), the official added.

The Indian government was considering direct investments in the construction of the Chabahar port as sovereign funding on bi-lateral basis since the port would be strategic for importing fertilizer from the joint venture plant as well as chemicals and petrochemicals from the hub in the same region, he added.

India’s participation in the expansion of the Chabahar port and its upgradation to handle chemicals and petrochemicals was first discussed in May 2013 during Indian external affairs minister, Salman Khurshed’s, visit to Tehran but sanctions against Iran had impeded any progress.

However, with the easing of the sanctions, expansion project parameters and investments  in the port would need to be negotiated afresh next month, the official said.

($1 = €0.74)

Author: Ajoy K Das

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