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USTDA GRANT SUPPORTS REFINERY SAFETY AND EFFICIENCY IN INDIA

USTDA India Country Representative Bala Kalyanaraman (standing far left); Under Secretary of Energy Bud Albright (second from left); Deputy Chairman, India's Planning Commission, Dr. Montek Singh Ahluwalia (third from left); India's Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon (fourth from left); and Executive Director, Mumbai Refinery, D.K. Deshpande (far right in back), look on as USTDA Regional Director for South and Southeast Asia Henry Steingass (seated left) and HPCL Director - Refineries and Board Member M.A. Tankiwala (seated right) sign the USTDA grant agreement.
USTDA India Country Representative Bala Kalyanaraman (standing far left); Under Secretary of Energy Bud Albright (second from left); Deputy Chairman, India's Planning Commission, Dr. Montek Singh Ahluwalia (third from left); India's Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon (fourth from left); and Executive Director, Mumbai Refinery, D.K. Deshpande (far right in back), look on as USTDA Regional Director for South and Southeast Asia Henry Steingass (seated left) and HPCL Director - Refineries and Board Member M.A. Tankiwala (seated right) sign the USTDA grant agreement.

NEW DELHI, INDIA (April 4, 2008) – As part of the U.S.-India Energy Dialogue meetings taking place this week in New Delhi, USTDA awarded a grant today to the Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) for technical assistance related to an asset integrity management program. The grant will be used to introduce the company to a wide range of advanced safety technologies and inspection methodologies to minimize the risks and vulnerabilities of petroleum operations.

The $628,926 grant was conferred during a signing ceremony held at historic Hyderabad House in New Delhi, and presided over by Deputy Chairman of the State Planning Commission of India, Dr. Montek Ahluwalia, and Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon. The grant agreement was signed by USTDA Regional Director Henry Steingass and HPCL Director - Refineries and Board Member M.A. Tankiwala on behalf of the U.S. government and HPCL, respectively. U.S. Department of Energy Under Secretary Bud Albright, who is leading the U.S. delegation's participation in the U.S.-India Energy Dialogue meetings, and Foreign Secretary Menon signed as witnesses to the grant agreement.

"As India continues to expand her refining industry, her companies are seeking to upgrade refinery and pipeline inspection and safety to align with best practices in the international petroleum industry," stated Foreign Secretary Menon at the signing. Asset integrity management is a comprehensive strategy employed by the international petroleum industry to maintain the safety and integrity of petroleum facilities, including refineries and pipelines. Companies throughout the industry make considerable investments annually in related technology and specialized services as part of their efficiency objectives and their health, safety and environmental commitments. The new technologies are both cost effective and more reliable, and minimize the operational downtime otherwise required for inspection of system components using older methodologies.

The U.S. – India Energy Dialogue was launched in 2005 to promote increased trade and investment in the energy sector by working with the public and private sectors to further identify areas of cooperation and collaboration. Since 2005, USTDA has invested over $3 million in a broad range of energy activities and leveraged an additional $1 million from the private sector. Examples of programs include refinery process modernization studies and a coal bed methane development project, in addition to technical assistance for development of new regulatory structures for the expanding oil and gas industries.

The opportunity to provide assistance to HPCL under the USTDA grant awarded today will be competed on the Federal Business Opportunities website at www.fbo.gov. Interested U.S. firms should submit proposals according to the instructions contained in the Federal Business Opportunities announcement. HPCL will select the U.S. firm that will provide the assistance associated with the USTDA grant.

The U.S. Trade and Development Agency advances economic development and U.S. commercial interests in developing and middle-income countries. The agency funds various forms of technical assistance, early investment analysis, training, reverse trade missions and business workshops that support the development of a modern infrastructure and a fair and open trading environment. USTDA's strategic use of foreign assistance funds to support sound investment policy and decision-making in host countries creates an enabling environment for trade, investment and sustainable economic development. In carrying out its mission, USTDA gives emphasis to economic sectors that may benefit from U.S. exports of goods and services.

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