Foreign Policy Watch: India-SAARC Nations

LNG diplomacy: India plans to build terminals in 4 nations


Mains Paper 2: IR | India & its neighborhood- relations

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Petronet LNG Ltd (PLL), liquefied natural gas (LNG), SAARC Energy Initiative, SAARC electricity grid

Mains level: India’s energy diplomacy

Establishing clout in regional energy scenario

  1. State-run Petronet LNG Ltd (PLL) is planning to set up liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals in Myanmar, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Mauritius
  2. It may boost India’s role in creating a new energy security architecture for its neighbors
  3. PLL is also exploring a similar opportunity in the Maldives

Petronet LNG Ltd (PLL)

  1. Petronet is promoted by four Indian state-owned firms—GAIL (India) Ltd, Bharat Petroleum Corp. Ltd, Indian Oil Corp. Ltd and Oil and Natural Gas Corp. Ltd
  2. The firm set up India’s first LNG terminal at Dahej in Gujarat

Importance of these terminals

  1. These terminals will reconvert natural gas shipped in a liquid form into gas and would help India exert economic and strategic influence in the region
  2. India, the world’s fourth-largest LNG importer, has been trying to leverage the glut in global LNG supplies

SAARC Energy initiative

  1. India is also championing for a South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Energy Initiative to create sub-regional hydrocarbon infrastructure such as gas networks
  2. This is along the lines of the SAARC electricity grid which envisages meeting electricity demand in the region
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