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Bangladesh assures Tatas on gas supply

November 25, 2004 12:53 IST

Bangladesh on Thursday assured natural gas supply to giant conglomerate Tata for setting up three plants in the country.

Tata Group chairman Ratan Tata had visited Bangladesh last month to sign an 'Expression of Interest' for setting up three plants -a power plant, a fertiliser factory and a steel unit- worth $2 billion in the country.

"We have given an assurance to Tatas on the basis of our present stock as well as on probable gas reserve," State Minister for Energy Mosharraf Hossain said adding "the recent shortage of (natural) gas is accidental and temporary."

He told the Daily Star newspaper "as one out of four wells in Sangu (field) has been stalled for over four months, there is a daily shortage of 50 million cubic feet now."

Hossain said he looked forward to getting 42 trillion cubic feet of gas as both multinational and national energy companies continued to explore the fuel. If the plan gets through, it would be the largest single foreign investment ever in Bangladesh.

Tatas have proposed to set up a $700 million in basic steel industry and an equal amount in a 1000 megawatt power generation, while another $600 million for a fertiliser factory.

The three plants would initially need 200 mmcft natural gas daily and it was likely to go upto 350 mmcft when in full operation.

The Bangladesh government has sought funding from the international donors for pipeline project to provide natural gas and electricity in the country's western region for the Tatas plan.

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