Iran is ready to invest in the expansion of a South Indian refinery, an Iranian official said in New Delhi, as the country seeks new avenues of growth amid debilitating U.S. sanctions.
Iran has seen a massive drop in export earnings which is eating into funds for social development. This has raised questions that it might not invest in the expansion of a refinery in South India where it already holds a minority stake.
Iran’s participation has also been questioned after India cut back its Iranian crude oil imports following U.S. sanctions and stopped them completely from May.
“We have announced our readiness for that (to invest in the refinery). We have no limit to work with India whether an investment, whether any kind of joint venture, we are ready for that,” said Ali Chegeni, ambassador of Iran in India.
Chennai Petroleum plans to invest up to Rs 356.98bn (USD 5.1bn) to replace the 20,000 bpd Nagapattinam refinery in Southern Tamil Nadu state with a 180,000 bpd plant.
Chegeni said he hoped that Bank Pasargad, a major Iranian bank which offers commercial and retail services, will soon open a branch in India and will directory deal with India’s UCO Bank and IDBI Bank Ltd that was handling India’s oil payments in rupees to Tehran.
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