The USD 1 billion oil refinery being built with Indian aid in Mongolia will be completed by December 2022 and will meet about three-fourths of Mongolian oil requirement, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Friday.
The minister for petroleum and natural gas was speaking at a meeting attended by a Mongolian business delegation led by the country's President Khaltmaagiin Battulga, who is on a five-day visit to India.
"India and Mongolia, enjoy cordial relations and a warm friendship. The historic visit of Prime Minster Narendra Modi to Mongolia in 2015 led to a paradigm shift in India-Mongolia relations. The construction of USD 1 billion oil refinery with 1.5 million metric tonne capacity with Indian assistance is a shining example of our friendship," the minister said.
State-run Engineers India Ltd (EIL) is providing engineering consultancy services for this prestigious refinery project in Mongolia which will be completed by December 2022, and will meet about three-fourths of Mongolian requirement of oil, Pradhan said.
A project of this magnitude will help develop ancillary industries related to refinery and pipeline operations. This would directly and indirectly promote associated economic activities in Mongolia, he added.
The Mongolian President said his visit to India provides opportunities to further broaden and strengthen ties in all sectors.
"During the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Mongolia, India extended soft loan credit line of one billion dollars for construction of oil refinery in Mongolia. Today we are concluding the construction of roads, railways and power line for the refinery. The construction of refinery provides many opportunities for Mongolian and Indian entrepreneurs," Battulga said.
Cooperation in the field of information and technology is another area to work together, he said.
Elaborating on India-Mongolia ties in the energy sector, Pradhan said, "I understand that the first India-Mongolia Oil and Gas Expo held in May 2019 in Ulaanbaatar, with participation of 30 renowned Indian companies, enabled to explore the possibilities in Mongolia in energy sector."
He further said the mining sector in Mongolia, which accounts for more than one-fifth of the country's GDP, is an attractive area for joint exploration of copper, rare earth metals and gold.
Mongolia has rich natural resources including coking coal and can support India's demand for these resources, he said.
Pradhan also invited Mongolia to join the International Solar Alliance (ISA).
The ISA was jointly launched by Prime Minister Modi and then French President Francois Hollande at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris in November 2015.
It is a major global initiative for contributing to the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement through rapid and massive deployment of solar energy.
"Mongolia is blessed with over 250 days of sunshine in a year over its vast and scarcely populated area. We would welcome Mongolia joining the International Solar Alliance (ISA), which will not only improve renewable energy supplies but also open new business possibilities," Pradhan said.