Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of petroleum, natural gas and steel held a meeting with Australia’s Minister of Resources Matt Canavan on August 28, 2019. Both the ministers recognized the importance of resources and energy in the bilateral relationship and agreed to the fact to expand the scope of cooperation given that India offers a large energy market and Australia is rich in natural resources like coal and liquified natural gas (LNG), apart from Uranium.
Hon’ble Minister of Petroleum, Natural Gas and Steel mentioned that India is already an importer of LNG from Australia. As India’s major initiatives in concern to move into a gas-based economy, there is significant scope for expanding LNG imports from Australia. He also mentioned that Indian consumer is price sensitive, and therefore affordability of LNG imports from Australia will be an important factor in enhancing cooperation in this area. Minister Canavan underlined Australia’s commitment to expand its ties with India and highlighted its position as a reliable partner in meeting India’s energy security needs.
Dharmendra Pradhan called for greater investment flow from Australia to India and sharing of best practices. Pradhan also called for greater cooperation in the area of coking coal. He said there is a need for coordination between the two countries in order to bring together the Ministries responsible for Coal, Mines, Petroleum, Natural Gas and Steel of each side to achieve greater synergy and enhance bilateral energy cooperation. He further added that India being the largest importer of Australian metallurgical coal, a favorable differential pricing mechanism should work out.
Dharmendra Pradhan also stated that opportunities for collaboration will continue to expand as India’s energy mix evolves. The two Ministers agreed to build further on a wide range of energy resources, which have a multiplier effect on the economy, in the coming months so that the energy pillar of bilateral engagement can be strengthened.