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India’s growth projection to invite investment in energy sector: PM

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BENGALURU, Feb 6 (PTI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday showcased India’s phenomenal projected growth in energy demand, stable and decisive leadership, and sustained reforms to invite global investors in the country’s oil and gas exploration and new energy, including green hydrogen.

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Modi in his inaugural address at India Energy Week 2023 called upon stakeholders to explore every possibility related to India’s energy sector and get involved with it.

“Today India is the most suitable place in the world for your investment,” he said.

The country is projected to witness the fastest growth in energy demand in the world in the next decade, the Prime Minister noted.

Quoting International Energy Association, Modi remarked that India’s energy demands will be the highest in the present decade which presents an opportunity for the investors and stakeholders of the energy sector.

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He informed that India’s share in the global oil demand is 5 per cent which is expected to rise to 11 per cent, whereas the gas demand of India is expected to rise up to 500 per cent.

He underlined that new opportunities for investment and collaboration are being created by the expanding energy sector of India.

“I ask you to explore all opportunities connected with India’s energy sector. India is the most opportune place for investment today,” he said at the event, being attended by several ministers, corporate leaders and experts from different nations.

He stated that despite the global crisis, India remained a bright spot for the world in 2022 due to its internal resilience.

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“Multiple factors were behind it like stable and decisive government, sustained reforms, and socio-economic empowerment at the grassroots,” he said.

He also noted that over 6 lakh km of optical fibre network has been laid to provide internet facilities to villages.

“The number of Broadband users in India has become 13 times more than it was 9 years ago, and the number of internet connections has tripled in the same period,” the Prime Minister said.

He said India is working on expanding its refining capacity from 250 MMTPA to 450 MMPTA.

The Prime Minister said that India’s gas pipeline network will expand to 35,000 km in the next four-five years from 22,000 km presently.

In 2014, the length of the gas pipeline in India was around 14,000 km; now it stands at over 22,000 km. Gas pipeline network in India to reach 35,000 km in the next 4-5 years.

Modi said that the government is working on a mission mode to increase the consumption of natural gas in India’s energy mix from 6 per cent to 15 per cent by 2030 where all the needed infrastructure will be provided by ‘One Nation One Grid’.

“The government is trying to increase the capacity of LNG Terminal regasification”, the Prime Minister said.

He further added that the terminal regasification capacity of 21 MMTPA has doubled in 2022 while efforts are being made to increase it even more.

He also added that the number of CGDs in the country has gone up 9 times and the number of CNG stations has gone up to 5,000 from 900 in 2014.

Highlighting India’s emphasis on domestic exploration and production (E&P), Modi informed that the EP sector has shown interest in the areas hitherto considered inaccessible.

“We have reduced the ‘No-Go’ areas. Due to this, 10 lakh square kilometre area has been freed from the restrictions of No-Go. I would urge all the investors to make use of these opportunities, and increase your presence in the exploration of fossil fuels”, he said.

On 20 per cent ethanol blending with petrol, he said India is moving towards achieving the target.

Modi also showcased the government initiatives on promoting green hydrogen in the country.

He said, “Another sector in which India is taking lead in the world is Green Hydrogen. The National Green Hydrogen Mission will give a new direction to India in the 21st century”.

The Prime Minister also mentioned the recently unveiled National Hydrogen Mission, saying that it will bring investments worth Rs 8 lakh crore.

“Today, India is one of the world’s leading voices in energy transition & developing new resources of energy. IMF, in their growth projections for 2023 also stated that India will remain the fastest-growing major economy,” he said.

He also talked about replacing 25 per cent of grey hydrogen used in the country with green hydrogen.

Modi stated that the Budget (for 2023-34) has provided Rs 10 lakh crore for capital expenditure, which will give a boost to green hydrogen, solar power and road sectors.

The Prime Minister also recalled several initiatives taken by the government to promote green energy and make India net zero by 2070.

The Budget 2023-24 has provided Rs 35,000 crore to the petroleum and natural gas ministry for achieving the net-zero target.

India Energy Week 2023 is the first major event of G20 under India’s presidency, Modi noted.

He further stated that crores of people have come out of poverty and entered the middle class due to government initiatives.

India has become the second-largest producer of mobile phones and the fourth-largest crude refiner in the world, the Prime Minister said.

Solar cooktops launched today will give a new dimension to cooking in India, he added.

The Prime Minister earlier launched the ‘Unbottled’ initiative of Indian Oil under which uniforms will be made of recycled PET bottles.

He also dedicated the twin-cooktop model of the IndianOil’s Indoor Solar Cooking System and flagged off its commercial roll-out.

Modi also launched E20 fuel at 84 retail outlets of oil marketing companies in 11 states/UTs along the lines of the ethanol blending roadmap.

He also flagged off the Green Mobility Rally where vehicles running on green energy sources will participate and help create public awareness for green fuels.

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