India plans $6bn refinery project in Myanmar

12 October 2020

India proposed to build an ambitious USD 6bn petroleum refinery project near Yangon, to firmly establish its credentials as a serious and viable development partner of Myanmar. 

This was a key takeaway from a rare two-day joint visit by Indian Army chief Manoj Mukund Naravane and foreign secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla to Myanmar.

India seeks to ensure that the neighbouring country does not get firmly set in China’s orbit. “This project would be a win-win arrangement for both countries…. As of now, Indian Oil Corp. (IOC) has evinced interest in the project," said a person aware of the matter, on the condition of anonymity.

This is a very bold move," former foreign secretary Kanwal Sibal said about India’s plans to set up the refinery. “It is a very strategic project aimed at reducing Myanmar’s dependence on China’s infrastructure building. India cannot counter China by merely saying it has an ‘Act East’ policy. The investment is substantial to catch Myanmar’s attention," Sibal said.