0329 GMT August 22, 2019
“We have announced our readiness for that (to invest in the refinery),” said Ali Chegeni, Iran’s ambassador to India, Reuters reported.
“We have no limit to work with India, whether investment, whether any kind of joint venture, we are ready for that.”
India was Iran’s top oil client after China, but halted imports after Washington withdrew exemptions in May to eight nations, including India, who were earlier allowed to import some Iranian oil.
Naftiran Intertrade, the Swiss subsidiary of National Iranian Oil Company, holds a 15.4-percent stake in Chennai Petroleum Corporation Ltd., a subsidiary of India’s biggest state-owned refiner Indian Oil Corp Ltd.
Indian Oil has about 52 percent share in the refinery.
Chennai Petroleum plans to invest up to 356.98 billion rupees ($5.1 billion) to replace the 20,000 bpd Nagapattinam refinery in Southern Tamil Nadu state with a 180,000-bpd plant.
Chegeni said he hoped that Bank Pasargad, a major Iranian bank which offers commercial and retail services, will soon open a branch in India and will directly deal with India’s UCO Bank and IDBI Bank Ltd. that were handling India’s oil payments in rupees to Tehran.
India was paying for oil imports in rupees before suspending its purchases.