Washington, Apr 13 (PTI) US Energy Secretary Rick Perry is travelling to India as part of the Trump administration's move to enhance bilateral energy cooperation.

State-owned gas utility GAIL India has signed a deal to buy 3.5 million tonne a year of liquefied natural gas (LNG) for 20 years from Cheniere Energy of the US and has also booked capacity for another 2.3 million tonne (MT) at Dominion Energy's Cove Point liquefaction plant.

"Today, US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry will travel to India on the heels of a large delivery of US sourced natural gas," the Department of Energy said.

During his visit to New Delhi, Perry will meet with both government officials and private sector stakeholders about the growing bilateral energy relationship between the US and India.

"The trip will conclude with the inaugural Strategic Energy Partnership meeting co-chaired by Secretary Perry and India's Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan," an official statement said.

During a Congressional hearing yesterday, Perry told lawmakers that there is a great scope for energy cooperation with India.

"Two weeks ago, the first molecules of US natural gas arrived at GAIL. I think the issue for them is to build out their infrastructure to be able to move the gas around, not unlike what we got in this country.

"We are way ahead of them, but the point is, if you're really going to be able to satisfy the economic needs, and satisfy the national security needs of your people, you're going to have the distribution system as well," Perry said in response to a question.

There is a real opportunity in not just India, but India is obviously a huge market, he said.

"Our ability to deliver US innovation, US natural resources into that country are a great opportunity, and that's the real driving factor of why we're headed that way," Perry said.

Congressman Pete Olson said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has a very aggressive plan to clean up their extremely dirty air.

"That's with renewables, mostly wind and solar. But their energy minister and their foreign secretary stated over and over that LNG natural gas is the economy of the now. The future is renewables," Olson added.

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