Though Iran has offered to supply natural gas to India at $2.95 per mmBtu for a urea plant to be set up at Chabahar port in Persian Gulf, but New Delhi wants the rates to be lowered. Union road transport, highways and shipping minister Nitin Gadkari said the total investment will be around Rs 1,00,000 crore.
With the US and other western countries lifting sanctions against Iran, India entered into talks with Iran to set up a gas-based urea plant, besides developing a gas discovery ONGC had made.
He said, “Various ministries will give their report by 28 September. A final decision will be taken based on the reports.” He added, “Iran is offering gas to India at $2.95 per million British thermal unit (mmBtu) to set up the urea plant at Chabahar port. But we want the price to be lowered at $1.5 per mmBtu.”
The rate offered by Iran is less than half the rate at which India currently imports natural gas. Long-term supplies from Qatar cost four-times the Iranian price.
India, which imports around eight to nine million tonnes of the nitrogenous fertiliser, is negotiating for a price of $1.5 per mmBtu with Iran, in a move, which, if successful, will see a significant decline in the country’s Rs 80,000 crore subsidy for the soil nutrient.
India has pledged to invest $85 million in developing the port off Iran’s south eastern coast, which would provide India a sea-land access route to Afghanistan bypassing Pakistan.
Gadkari had visited Tehran in May, and both the nations had inked a pact to develop the Chabahar port.