Dhaka wants to revive tri-nation gas pipeline

By IANS, Dhaka: Bangladesh wants to revive the tri-nation gas pipeline project with India and Myanmar and will work towards getting the “best possible advantage” through it, says Foreign Affairs Adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury.

“We are ready to negotiate for allowing the pipeline if Myanmar sells gas and India agrees to buy…We’ll obtain best possible advantage through negotiations – we’ll get revenue,” Chowdhury told reporters after a visit to Myanmar.

Support TwoCircles

Chowdhury said the tri-nation pipeline issue, wherein Bangladesh would allow transit for a fee, came up during his meetings with Myanmar leaders, including Acting Prime Minister Lt Gen Thein Sein.

According to the previous estimate, Bangladesh was to receive $100 million to $120 million as transmission or “wheeling charge” annually for the 950-km pipeline.

However, the former government of prime minister Khaleda Zia put three conditions to allow the gas pipeline: Bangladesh’s passage to export its products to Nepal and Bhutan through India, reduction of Dhaka’s trade deficit with New Delhi and allowing the import of electricity from Nepal and Bhutan through Indian territory.

In the absence of any fruitful negotiations between India and Bangladesh on the tri-nation pipeline, Myanmar signed an agreement with China to sell its gas.