Gandhinagar, Wednesday: Gujarat Government’s public sector enterprise Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation (GSPC) today signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with British Gas for long-term sales and purchase of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) in presence of Gujarat Chief Minister Mr. Narendra Modi and British Foreign and Commonwealth Minister of State Mr. Hugo Swire here today.
Extending a warm welcome to the high-level British delegation, led by Mr. Hugo and British High Commissioner to India Mr. James Bevan, Mr. Modi said that Britain’s relation with Gujarat is eternal as both of us have marched together onto the path of progress, development and welfare of the mankind. Our mutual relation is already on the fast track. This agreement is sure to take the relation to greater heights and serve as another historic milestone. It should help energy security, check effects of climate change and bridge the gap between demand and supply.
He said the presence of a British minister at the MoU signing ceremony indicates their government’s according importance and intent to build stronger relation with Gujarat. This would usher in greater trade and industrial relation between the two.
Mr. Modi said that the participation of UK-India Business Council and Trade Mission in the Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors’ Summit (VGGIS) in January 2013 has brought people residing in Gujarat and Gujaratis and Indians residing in Britain closer in diverse fields.
With setting up more and more facilities for petroleum and power in the state, he said, Gujarat is becoming an ‘Energy Hub’. Gujarat has emerged as the growth engine of India’s economy due to the latter’s farsighted progressive gas-based policies, as it consumes two-third of natural gas. The state has India’s largest network of gas pipelines. It has two LNG Terminals which handles 80 per cent of the country’s total cargo in the commodity. There are 11-lakh households with gas connection and seven lakh vehicles run on CNG.
Mr. Modi said that Gujarat has also taken decisive initiatives in Climate Change in developing solar and wind power as clean energy.
Lately, Government of India has awarded A+ rating to Gujarat in all the four energy utilities. The state’s share in India in solar and wind energy is 60 percent, he said.
He said that Gujarat also took initiative in human resource development for the gas-petroleum-energy sector by setting up Pandit Deen Dayal University.
Mr. Hugo hailed Gujarat’s long strides in various fields, including good governance; rule of law and in the matters of human rights. He exuded confidence the latest agreement would open new LNG gateway in India, make mutual relation with Gujarat stronger, wider and deeper.
The MoU was signed by GSPC Managing Director Tapan Ray and British Gas President Shalin Sharma.
Other present on the occasion included Gujarat’s Energy and Petroleum Minister Saurabh Patel, captains of industries of Gujarat. The state’s Chief Secretary Varesh Sinha welcomed the visiting delegation and Principal Secretary of Energy D. J. Pandian proposed a vote of thanks.
Read full text speech here