March 4, 2024

‘The work on the refinery project is going well. Because of COVID, it has been delayed by one and a half years. We believe that it will be operational by 2026,’ Ganbold said | Photo: Bloomberg


Mongolia’s ambassador to India Dambajav Ganbold has said the India-funded greenfield oil refinery project in South Gobi is on track and will be operational by 2026.


However, he acknowledged some delays from the Indian side in delivering products for the refinery plant.

“Of course, there are some delays from the Indian side in delivering the products, but overall, the project is progressing well,” he told PTI. “It is crucial for our relations, and we eagerly look forward to its completion.”

With a USD 1.2 billion line of credit announced by India during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Mongolia in 2015, the refinery’s construction has been delayed by 1.5 years due to COVID-19.


“The work on the refinery project is going well. Because of COVID, it has been delayed by one and a half years. We believe that it will be operational by 2026,” Ganbold said.


The refinery aims to reduce Mongolia’s reliance on Russian oil imports. Upon completion, it will have a capacity of 30,000 barrels per day or 1.5 million tonnes annually, helping the country meet its demand for gasoline, diesel, aviation fuel, and liquefied petroleum gas.


Mongolia anticipates a visit by the Indian Prime Minister in 2025, coinciding with the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries.


“We expect our President to visit India in the second half of this year, and we will celebrate 70 years of diplomatic relations in 2025. Therefore, we hope Prime Minister Modi will visit Mongolia to commemorate this milestone and the 10th anniversary of his first trip,” the ambassador said.


Ganbold, along with Union Ministers Kiren Rijiju and Meenakshi Lekhi, on Saturday, launched the song “Duur”, marking the first musical collaboration between India and Mongolia. The song features renowned Indian singer Mohit Chauhan and Mongolian artist Baataraj Erdenetsogt.

“I believe this is a great fusion and a promising start,” said the ambassador. “We believe the Dragon Year will bring us closer. Indeed, the sky’s the limit.”

He also emphasised that the two countries can strengthen their economic ties by enhancing collaboration in tourism, agriculture, and the mineral sector.


“Indian businesses can come to Mongolia for minerals, especially, rare earth elements crucial for telephones,” he noted.


Expressing a similar sentiment of moving beyond formalities, Minister of Earth Sciences Kiren Rijiju highlighted India and Mongolia’s spiritual connection.


“Diplomatic relations are limited to formalities, and true friendship comes from informal events, like music, entertainment, and other cultural and social activities,” Rijiju said.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Feb 12 2024 | 12:20 AM IST