The ambitious 130-km long Indo-Bangla Friendship Pipeline (IBFPL), constructed at a cost of Rs 377.08 crore, is likely to be commissioned by next month, PTI official sources said on Sunday. The international oil pipeline, IBFPL, will carry fuel from Assam-based Numaligarh Refinery Ltd's (NRL) marketing terminal at Siliguri in West Bengal to the Parbatipur depot of Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC).
The mechanical works of the bilateral project, being funded by India, was completed on December 12 last year, a senior official of NRL told the news agency on condition of anonymity. "We have set the commissioning target completion in February 2023," he added.
The groundbreaking ceremony for the 130-km IBFPL was held in September 2018 in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bangladesh through video conferencing. "The project is in a true sense an engineering marvel. We faced lots of hurdles but with mutual cooperation and technological understanding between the two countries, this international project will see the light of the day," another senior executive of the Northeast's largest refiner said.
The IBFPL has been successfully implemented because of the true friendship between India and Bangladesh, and it will remain a testimony of the best relationship between the two South East Asian nations, she added. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his meeting with Hasina in 2017 had agreed to finance this pipeline with a capacity of one million metric tonnes per annum (MMTPA).
The total project cost for the construction of the IBFPL is Rs 377.08 crore. Out of this, NRL's investment is Rs 91.84 crore for the India portion of the pipeline, while the remaining Rs 285.24 crore for the Bangladesh portion is being funded by the Indian government as a grant-in-aid.
According to a recent report, prepared by the Assam Assembly on the visit of a delegation of the legislators to the neighbouring country, Bangladesh will start importing gas and oil from NRL later this year.
The delegation met Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who said that "importing fuel oil from India through the pipeline" will start this year, it added.
"She said that Bangladesh wants to import oil from India through a pipeline... The 130-km India-Bangladesh Friendship Pipeline (IBFPL) project aims to export oil products from India to Bangladesh," the report said.
NRL and BPC had in April 2017 inked a long-term agreement for selling High-Speed Diesel (HSD) from India to Bangladesh through the IBFPL. Later in October of the same year, the state-run NRL signed another 15-year agreement with the BPC for the export of gas oil (diesel) to the neighbouring nation. In NRL, Oil India Ltd has a 69.63 per cent stake, while Assam Government and Engineers India Ltd have 26 per cent and 4.37 per cent holding respectively.
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