Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi will jointly inaugurate construction work of Bangladesh-India Friendship Pipeline between Shiliguri in West Bengal of India and Parbatipur in Dinajpur of Bangladesh today (Tuesday).
The two premiers will open the construction work of the oil pipeline through a videoconference from their respective capitals at 5 pm tomorrow, the Prime Minister’s Office sources said.
Officials said this pipeline will play an effective role in strengthening further the energy security of Bangladesh.
Besides the pipeline, the two leaders will inaugurate the construction of the third and fourth dual gauge rail lines in Dhaka-Tongi section and the dual gauge rail line in Tongi-Joydevpur section of Bangladesh Railway (BR).
The officials said currently imported oil is stored in Chattogram depot after unloading it from the ship of at Chattogram Port. Later the oil is brought to Khulna Doulatpur Depot through coastal tanks and it was carried to Parbatipur again through rail wagons.
In this process, additional time and money is required alongside creation of transport-related problems. But with the launching of the pipeline, these problems will be solved.
Bangladesh and India signed an MoU here on April 9 last to set up the 130-km oil pipeline aimed at pumping Indian oil to Bangladesh with a capacity of 1 million tonnes per annum.
Earlier, Bangladesh inked a sale and purchase agreement with India on importing diesel through the pipeline on Oct 22 in 2017.
Through the cross-border pipeline, India will supply fuel oil from its Numaligarh Refinery Ltd (NRL), located at Golaghat in the north-eastern state of Assam, while Bangladesh will receive the oil at Parbatipur Depot of Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) in north-western district of Dinajpur, the BPC sources said.
India will supply 2.5 lakh metric tons of diesel for the first three years and the amount will be increased to 4 lakh MY in the last five years.
The import of fuel will be further raised in future through the pipeline as per the requirements of Bangladesh. The NRL will distribute diesel for 15 years through the pipeline and the time could be expanded following the consent of both sides, the BPC sources said.
With the completion of construction work of the pipeline, they said, the deal on sale and purchase will be made effective.
The Parbatipur Depot formally received the first consignment of 2,268 MT diesel from the NRL through rail wagons on March 19, 2016.
Through the rail wagons, Bangladesh has imported 57,000 MT diesel from India till July 2018 and it is expected that 50,000 MT more will be brought from India in August-December 2018 through the same way.
BR sources said over Taka 1,106 crore under Indian Line of Credit (LoC) would be spent for implementing the construction work of the two rail projects.
Under the two schemes, the sources said, 48.80 kilometres of two new dual gauge rail lines would be constructed on Dhaka-Tongi route, while a 12.28-KM new dual gauge railway double line on Tongi-Joydevpur route, in parallel with the existing rail tracks.
Joint venture company RV Engineers Associate Architectures Pvt Limited and Ayesha Engineering will work as consultant organisations for the projects.
On completion of the schemes, rail communication of Gazipur, Tangail, Narsingdi, Bramhanbaria, Cumilla, Mymensingh and Jamalpur with Dhaka would be improved to a great extent.
As a result, travel time would be reduced on these routes, while the trains could run maintaining schedule set by the railway authority.