Bangladesh will start importing diesel through pipeline from India on Saturday (March 18, 2023).
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi will inaugurate India-Bangladesh Friendship Pipeline through video-conferencing at 5:30pm on that day.
Around 10,000 tonnes of diesel is set to come through the pipeline on the first day on Saturday, said sources at the Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC).
BPC chairman ABM Azad said on Friday that the prime ministers of both countries would inaugurate the import of diesel through pipeline at 5:30pm on Saturday. “Some 10,000 tonnes of diesel would come through the pipeline on the first day of inauguration. Later, diesel would come on the basis of opening letters of credit (L/Cs),” he said.
According to Azad, the diesel would be pumped by Numaligarh Refinery Ltd (NRL) company from its Shiliguri marketing terminal, India, into Parbatipur Depot in Dinajpur district of Bangladesh for commissioning purpose.
Around 6,800 tonnes of diesel will remain always in the pipeline for its smooth functioning.
Azad said diesel from India will arrive directly at Parbatipur Depot in Dinajpur district through India-Bangladesh Friendship Pipeline. “The imported diesel will be preserved at the old depot of Parbatipur as there are enough spaces for preserving the diesel.”
The BPC chairman said the work for a new depot is now ongoing. “We will be able to save money and transport cost once the diesel starts coming through pipeline,” he said, adding that it will help supplying the diesel to different districts of North Bengal easily.
India-Bangladesh Friendship Pipeline’s director Tipu Sultan said imported diesel would be kept at the old depot of Parbatipur until the completion of construction work of a new depot. “We hope that the construction of new depot will be completed this year.”
In order to import diesel from India through pipeline, some 131.5km long India-Bangladesh Friendship Pipeline has been built. It is the first cross-border energy pipeline between the two neighbours. Of the pipeline, 5km falls in India. The pipeline will run from the Siliguri-based marketing terminal of Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL) to Parbatipur depot of BPC. Diesel will be imported from India over the next 15 years through this pipeline. Two lakh metric tonnes of diesel will be imported in the first three years, three lakh metric tonnes over the next three years, five lakh metric tonnes over the next five years, and ten lakh metric tonnes over the next five years.
Bangladesh and India have been growing closer in relations as Bangladesh is quickly becoming India’s largest trading partner in South Asia. Bangladesh has now turned into the fourth biggest market for Indian exports in the world, with exports being worth $16 billion. The two countries are currently in the process of formulating a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), which could see India’s exports to the country double to $32 billion in the near term.