NEED TO ACCELERATE CURRENT INDO-RUSSIA BILATERAL EXCHANGE

[ GS II, International Relations ]

CONTEXT :                                                   

  •  India and Russia discussed about the expansion in cooperation of energy sector as New Delhi looks at newer sources of oil and natural gas to diversify its import basket. 

  • In September, at the 6th Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) in Vladivostok [ Russia ], Indian PM Narendra Modi in a virtual address said, “India-Russia energy partnership can help bring stability to the global energy market.”

  • Oil Minister Hardeep Singh Puri held a video interaction with Russian Energy Minister Nikolay Shulginov on forwarding the energy cooperation between the two nations,as tweeted by the minister.

INFORMATION:- 

  • India has been at the forefront of the global energy transformation and aiming to diversify its trade relations. 

  • India has plethora of energy sources and aspirations to diversify the trade. Russia fits in India’s such ambitions well.

  • To strengthen the bilateral ties, an attempt from both government and corporate leaders is needed.

  • Indian and Russian Energy Ministers announced that the companies of both the countries are pushing for greater cooperation in the oil and gas sector.

POST CORONA RECOVERY- INDIA

  • In the economic recovery post corona, India (Asia’s third-largest economy) has expanded by more than 20% in the June quarter and is expected to grow by around 9% by the end of 2021. (Higher than China’s 8.5%)

  • Since the recovery started, India has a bend toward green transition.

  • The examples of cooperation between the two countries are:-   

For example- 

  1. Russia’s Gazprom and India’s ONGC Videsh Ltd. and the Indian Oil Corporation have signed separate MOUs at Vladivostok. 

  2. A few years ago, Rosneft invested approx U.S.$12.9 billion in India’s second-largest private oil refiner, Essar Oil, renamed Nayara Energy, marking it one of the most significant foreign investments in many years.

  3. In Energy transformation, there is a joint venture between India’s Reliance Industries Ltd. and Russia’s Sibur. 

This joint venture (set up in Jamnagar, Gujarat), is leading as the first butyl and halogenated butyl rubber production facility in South Asia. 

  • This facility (operational in 2019), will meet the growing demand from domestic tyre manufacturers.

  • Sibur has come up with unique technology to India, which is not commercially available in the market and is the most advanced in terms of ecological footprint.

  •  The project will support the growth of India’s auto industry by making the critical raw material supply available.

  • The venture is also promoting halogenated butyl rubber.The project is a clear example of the “Make in India” and “Atma-Nirbhar Bharat” initiatives, representing a practical example of technology transfer from Russia to India.

Some important factors-

  • India is currently one of the fastest-growing butyl rubber and halogenated butyl rubber markets due to its rapidly expanding car manufacturing industry pushing for electric vehicles. 

  • Additionally, India is emerging as a critical refining hub in Asia to boost its petrochemical capacity. 

  •  The International Energy Agency wrote in the India Energy Outlook 2021 report in February that over the past years, India’s refineries have been expanding towards petrochemicals to capture additional value.

  • The agency evaluates the country’s ethylene production to grow by 2/3 rd over the period to 2030.

Towards Renewable and nuclear energy-

  • In efforts to transition to green energy, India has achieved the countrywide installation of 100 gigawatts of total installed renewable energy capacity.

  • India’s next target →  to hit 175 GW of renewable energy target by December 2022.

  • Furthermore, A/c the government survey, additional investments in renewables up to the year 2022 would be about $80 billion.

Russian companies have been involved in the construction of six nuclear reactors in the Kudankulam nuclear power project at Tamil Nadu. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin had showed Russia’s willingness to build a dozen reactors in India over the next 20 years.

 By 2031 →  India’s nuclear power generation capacity of 6,780 MW may increase to 22,480 MW.

In September, almost all of Russia’s major energy companies were interested in projects in India.

However, the current bilateral exchange rate needs to be accelerated for India to grasp its potential from energy transformation.

Coal dependency to be reduced and investments in renewable energy to be enhanced :-

  • coal remains India’s most important source of electricity production, and it’s not a good news for the environment.

  • To meet its growing energy demand and succeed in green transformation, India needs approximately U.S.$500 billion of investments in wind and solar infrastructure, grid expansion, and storage to reach the 450 GW capacity target by 2030.

plutus ias daily current affairs 28 Oct 2021