Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina jointly inaugurated the India-Bangladesh Friendship Pipeline via video conference on Saturday. The pipeline will strengthen cooperation between the two countries on energy security. This is believed to be an exceptional step towards the government agenda of a robust political, economical inter-relationships that the country has developed with its eastern neighbor.
Currently, Bangladesh is supplied diesel through a 512-km rail route. The 131.5-km pipeline will deliver up to 1 million tonnes of diesel per year from Numaligarh in Assam to Bangladesh. Not only does this save on transport costs, but it also reduces the carbon footprint of transport fuels.
In the last few years, under the able leadership of PM Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh has made remarkable progress. Every Indian is proud of that & we’re delighted that we’ve been able to contribute to this development journey of Bangladesh, were the words of PM Narendra Modi while addressing the inauguration ceremony.
Prime Minister Modi has tweeted that the project will open a new chapter in India-Bangladesh relations. He further pointed out that the project will not only help reduce transport costs, but also reduce the carbon footprint of transport fuels.
“I believe this pipeline will further accelerate the development of Bangladesh and be a good example of strengthening the ties between the two countries,” the prime minister said during the virtual meeting.
The newly completed pipelines of 125 km in Bangladesh and 5 km in India would be significant for the following reasons.
Here are the key features of the pipeline
- FIRST CROSS BORDER ENERGY PIPELINE-
The Prime Ministers of both countries first gave the head-go to the project in 2018. It is the first cross border energy pipeline between India and Bangladesh.
- PROJECT COST
The total cost of the project is estimated at 377 crore. Out of this total cost, the Bangladesh part of the pipeline is said to be built at an approximate cost of Rs 285 crore, which will be a grant assistance by the Indian Line of Credit.
- PIPELINE CAPACITY
The Pipeline has the capacity to transport 1 Million Metric Ton Per Annum (MMTPA) of High-Speed Diesel (HSD).It will initially supply high-speed diesel to seven districts in northern Bangladesh. Pipeline will be extended from Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL) marketing terminal in Siliguri to Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) Parbatipur terminal.
- ECONOMIC BENEFITS
This pipeline comes at a very crucial time for Bangladesh,as the country imports the most of fuel needed for electricity production. High global prices have forced Bangladesh to reduce imports in 2022 despite high electricity demand.
“The operation of India-Bangladesh Friendship Pipeline will introduce a sustainable, reliable, cost-effective and environment friendly way to transport HSD from India to Bangladesh and will further enhance security cooperation between the two countries,” a statement from the Indian government said.
- FUTURE FORECASTS
A barrel of fuel shipped from the port city costs around $8, currently in Bangladesh. The pipeline aims to reduce costs by about $5 per barrel. This would further reduce the transportation time to just one hour, which currently takes several days.
This pipeline will help provide a steady supply of diesel to all the 16 northern districts of Rangpur and Rajshahi in Bangladesh.
This will ensure timely fuel delivery at the lowest cost.