Assam: Highest recoverable reserves of crude oil and natural gas in India
Assam, with a geographical area of 7.8 mn ha, shares its border with almost all northeastern states in India and internationally with Bangladesh and Bhutan. Six airports, one inland waterway, and one inland container depot connect Assam with major cities of the country and nearby international cities as well. There is also a proposal to connect Assam with its neighboring country Bhutan by road.
Assam has more than 600 ha of land dedicated to industrial use. To capitalize on its pool of natural resources, the state also has a dedicated tea park, food processing park, agri-export zones, and four oil refineries. Assam Gas Cracker Project, northeast India's biggest industrial project, is being implemented by Brahmaputra Cracker and Polymer Ltd (BPCL) with an estimated project cost of USD 1.4 bn. The project is expected to create substantial employment and downstream investments in plastic-based industries.
Key upcoming projects:
- Six infrastructure projects are planned under a new scheme called City Infrastructure Development Fund (CIDF)
- Mass Rapid Transit System is planned in Guwahati
- Smart port townships are being planned along the river of Brahmaputra
- Smart Cities Mission, for which Guwahati is the city identified in Assam
- India's oldest operating oil refinery at Digboi
- Highest producer of onshore natural gas in India
- Contributes 50% to tea production in India
- GSDP (Current price)
USD 35 bn (2015-16)
- GSDP growth rate (YoY)
- Per capita income
USD 925 (2015-16)
- Share of renewable in energy
Assam is the 15th most populated state in India, with about 2.6% of the total population of the country.
With a population of 31.2 mn, Assam's population is nearly comparable to that of California in the U.S.
females/ 1000 males
During 2016-17, about 10 pharmaceutical units have started their production in the state, with a cumulative investment of USD 142 mn. The state is blessed with more than 952 species of plants used in medical practices. Key industrial infrastructure in Assam include Pharmaceutical Hub at Balipara, Guwahati Biotech Park and proposed Pharmaceutical Park at Chaygaon.
Assam accounts for almost 15% of India's total crude oil output. The crude oil produced in the northeast is treated in four refineries in Assam, the oldest being Digboi. With reserves of 1.3 bn tonnes of crude oil and 156 bn cubic metre of natural gas, and the same being available at attractive prices, the state is an ideal destination for energy, oil and gas based industries. Assam accounts for 50% of India's onshore production of natural gas. Almost all the petroleum producing areas of the upper Brahmaputra contain ‘associated natural gas'. Barak Valley, on the other hand, contains ‘free natural gas' in the Adamtila structure.
North eastern states of India have a hydro power potential of 63,257 MW, which is about 43% of the total assessed hydro power potential of the country. Out of this, Assam has a capacity to produce 680 MW of hydro power. The state also has a potential of generating 14,000 MW of solar power. As of March 2017, out of the total installed power generation capacity in Assam, thermal power based sources contributed 1,122.5 MW, hydropower sources contributed 431.2 MW and renewable power sources contributed 45.9 MW.
15 of the declared 111 national waterways, including NW-2 of the Brahmaputra river pass through Assam. The state government is planning to increase inland waterways transportation’s share of cargo traffic from 3% to 10%, making it 35 metric tonnes per annum. There is also a plan to introduce ferry services, which will provide safe, efficient and economical service to 18 mn passengers per annum.
The state government is planning to develop an IT Park in Bongora, Guwahati over an area of 40 ha. An estimated amount of more than USD 700 mn is planned to be invested in this park. About 14 ha of land is sought to be developed for the Electronic Systems Development and Manufacture (ESDM) sector. Under the Assam Fibrenet project, the state government is planning to provide broadband connectivity to each household of the state.
Assam is the largest producer of gold silk. It ranks 3rd in the country for production of Vanya silk (Eri, Muga and Tasar). It has 51 species of different bamboos. Apart from the strong base of natural resources, the state also has a strong infrastructure base with a large skilled workforce for weaving and looming.
Termed as the land of “Blue Hills and Red River” Assam is the gateway to the northeastern states and has been aptly described as the sentinel of northeast India. The state recorded arrival of 5.7 mn tourists in 2016, registering an annual growth of 16.1%. More than 75% tourists coming to northeast visit Assam. Tourism sector contributes 5.5% to the state GDP and provides approximately 10.5% of the total employment in the state. There are five national parks and 18 wildlife sanctuaries, of which, Kaziranga National Park and Manas Wildlife Sanctuary have been accorded as world heritage sites by UNESCO.
With 98.4% of the total land mass in rural areas, agriculture and allied activities is the major occupation in Assam. The state has a net cultivable area of 2.8 mn ha, out of which 88% of the total land is available for cultivation. Assam is known to be the single largest tea producing region globally and contributes over 50% of India’s total tea production. The upcoming Mega Food Park project at Tihu in Nalbari district, with a 23 ha Central Processing Centre (CPC), will enable the state to enhance efficient use of available raw material.