Modi, Hasina inaugurate first diesel pipeline project to Bangladesh

The pipeline will start a new chapter in India-Bangladesh relations, Modi said at the inauguration

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday jointly inaugurated Rs. 377 crores India-Bangladesh Friendship Pipeline (IBFP) to transport diesel from India to northern Bangladesh, cutting costs and reducing carbon footprint.

"The pipeline will start a new chapter in India-Bangladesh relations," Mr Modi said after inaugurating the first cross-border energy pipeline between the two neighbours via virtual mode.

Mr Modi said that connectivity projects and electricity supply initiatives bind the two nations on their path to progress.

Currently, diesel is supplied to Bangladesh through a 512 km rail route. The 131.5 km pipeline will supply up to 1 million tonnes of diesel per year from Numaligarh in Assam to Bangladesh.

"This will not just help save on transportation costs but also reduce the carbon footprint of moving the fuel," Mr Modi said.

"This pipeline is especially important in the context of many developing nations struggling for fertiliser and energy security," he said.

Calling India a "true friend" of Bangladesh, Ms Hasina said that her country's first cross-border oil pipeline with India will play a vital role in ensuring fuel security.

"When many countries across the world are on the verge of a fuel crisis due to the Russia-Ukraine war, at that time this pipeline will play a vital role in ensuring the fuel security of our people," Ms Hasina said.

In a statement, New Delhi said: "Bangladesh is India’s top-most development partner and its largest trade partner in the region. The operationalisation of the Friendship Pipeline will enhance ongoing energy cooperation between the two countries and will further growth in Bangladesh, particularly in the agriculture sector."

The construction of the pipeline project started in 2018. Of the total cost of Rs.377 crores for the project, Rs.285 crores were borne by the Indian government under grant assistance for the Bangladesh section of the pipeline.

The IBFP will carry one million tonnes of diesel per annum to seven districts in northern Bangladesh. The pipeline will run from the Siliguri-based marketing terminal of the Numaligarh Refinery Limited to the Parbatipur depot of the Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation.

The fuel transportation agreement between the two countries will be in effect for 15 years, with an option for further extension during subsequent phases based on both countries' agreement.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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