Work for setting up the 130-km underground pipeline will start by early March
The Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) is set to receive pipes and other required equipment to start the Bangladesh-India Friendship Pipeline (BIFP) project from Monday.
The Meghna Petroleum Ltd (MPL), a BPC company and in-charge of implementing the project, will receive the equipment through Hili land border of Dinajpur.
Md Tipu Sultan, project director of the BIFP and also deputy general manager of MPL, said, "Numaligarh Refinery Ltd has already sent the equipment, and now we are waiting for custom's approval."
The work for setting up 130-km underground pipeline will start by early March, he added.
On Tuesday, the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) approved the project worth Tk306.23 crore.
Under the project, a 130-km underground petroleum pipeline – 5 km in India and 125 km in Bangladesh – will be built from Numaligarh Refinery Ltd in Siliguri of India to Parbatipur depot under Dinajpur district of Bangladesh.
The project aims at facilitating fuel transport and supply to the Northern-region of the country with a shorter time and cheaper cost.
At present, the BPC's fuel supply cost or premier is $6.6 per barrel. It includes $2.2 per barrel import cost from the Middle East to the outer anchorage of Chittagong Sea-Port, and $4.4 to deliver the fuel to the Dinajpur storage tank.
But the cost will drop down to $5.5 per barrel once the pipeline is completed. The pipeline will have a delivery capacity of one million tonnes of fuel annually.
Md Sarwar Alam, director (operations and planning) of BPC told The Business Standard that the project will help them supply reliable and uninterrupted fuel to the northern part of the country.
"We have faced problems in sending the fuel from Chattogram to Dinajpur through roads and railways, especially when political tensions rise. Now we can supply uninterrupted fuel in the region."
Currently, the BPC is importing a small-scale of diesel from India to Parbatipur depot through railways which is around 0.45 million tonnes annually.