The state-owned Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL) in Assam plans to enter neighbouring Myanmar by setting up retail outlets once the situation is conducive in the trouble-torn country.
Chairman and Managing Director of NRL, Bhaskar Jyoti Phukan, said: “We are now working in Bangladesh. Myanmar has been on our radar for quite some time. In the past we had exported through roads directly from Numaligarh to Moreah covering roughly 421 km.”
“The regime change had delayed the plan. The area close to Moreah on the Indian side is Sagaing region of Myanmar. This is an area of high potential, a totally unserviced area. Around 40 lakh people are living in the area. We have chalked out a detailed plan for it,” Phukan told the media.
He also said that the NRL had plans to open retail outlets in the Sagaing region of Myanmar, which is still there on the drawing board.
He said the company has selected a partner to jointly work in the Myanmar area.
“We are not very confident as of now that the current regime in Myanmar would favourably come forward, but gradually things will fall in place. As the Asian highway is also coming up there, it is a very potential area which is still under service. We would start executing our plans once the situation becomes conducive.”
Myanmar’s �Tatmadaw’ (military) has often engaged in armed clashes with the civilian forces since February 2021 after the military junta seized power in the neighbouring country. The clashes also took place along the borders with India.
NRL is increasing its capacity from 3 to 9 million metric tonnes per annum with an investment of Rs 28,000 crore.
However, the cost of transportation from Numaligarh to Myanmar is very high.
A senior NRL official said that the Chinese are investing heavily in Myanmar.
“They are bringing products to Yangon all the way from Mandalay. China has set up tankers in Myanmar,” the official said.
The NRL, one of the four refineries in oil and gas-rich Assam, was set up at Numaligarh in Golaghat district in accordance with the provisions made in the Assam Accord signed on August 15, 1985.
It was conceived as a vehicle for speedy industrial and economic development of the region.
The NRL was dedicated to the country by former Prime Minister late Atal Bihari Vajpayee on July 9, 1999.