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Meghalaya seeks investment in shale gas sector

Posted on Dec 06, 07:55PM | UNI

The Meghalaya government has expressed its keenness to tie up with private power developers for investment in shale gas in the state.

'Meghalaya desires to tie up with private power producers for developing shale gas in the state. We urge Independent Power Producers Association of India to induce private companies which are experts in the field to invest in the state,' Principal Secretary (Power) J P Prakash said at a conference on 'Empowering the North East - Overcoming challenges in development of the power sector in the NE India' here today.

The conference was organised by Independent Power Producers Association of India (IPPAI).

According to Mr Prakash, the Assam-Arakan basin of Meghalaya is very rich in shale gas. 'It is cheap, but we don't have technology,' he said, adding a detailed study on the amount of shale gas present in the state is being conducted by a Mumbai-based company.

Mr Prakash also said during the visit of US President Barack Obama to India in 2010, India has signed an MoU with the US for cooperation in the area of developing shale gas.

Chief Secretary W M S Pariat in his speech claimed that North East was not only a power hub for the country, but for the South East region.

Giving a keynote address at the conference, NEEPCO Chairman and Managing Director (CMD), P C Pankaj however rued the fact that in the North East region only 1,200 MW of hydro power potential has been harnessed, which is only three per cent of the total installed capacity of the country and two per cent of the total potential of the region.

The NEEPCO chief also admitted that some private companies entrusted with the task of developing hydro projects in the region are not making much headway in these projects.

'We have taken view of the problems and have invited expression of interest (EOI) for joint venture with NEEPCO,' Mr Pankaj said, adding NEEPCO would provide technical expertise and man power to the private power developers.