Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has expressed her optimism about starting import of fuel oil from India through pipeline next year. "Bangladesh wants to import oil from India through pipeline and hopefully it will be done in the next year," she said.
The premier said this while an Indian delegation, led by Assam Legislative Assembly Speaker Biswajit Daimary, called on her at her official residence Ganabhaban in the capital. Prime Minister's Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed the reporters after the meeting.
The 131.57 km under-construction India-Bangladesh Friendship Pipeline connecting Siliguri of West Bengal and Parbatipur of Dinajpur will carry the oil from India to Bangladesh, according to officials familiar with the matter.
Some 126.5 km of the line will be inside Bangladesh while the remaining 5.07 km will be in India.
Of the construction costs amounting to Tk5.20 billion, the Indian government is providing Tk3.03 billion and Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation is providing the remaining Tk2.17 billion. Meghna Petroleum Limited, a company of Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation, is implementing the Bangladesh portion of the project.
Meghna Petroleum Managing Director Md Masudur Rahman said that the project will be completed by the first quarter of the next year. However, he could not specify when they could import oil from India through the pipeline.
Officials at BPC said that the physical progress of the main pipeline is around 95% but the construction work of the fuel-receiving terminal and another pipeline connecting an oil-based power plant is yet to start.
Due to the price hike of construction materials and the ongoing dollar crisis, the project has been delayed, they said. BPC plans to import around 0.2 to 0.3 million tonnes of fuel through this pipeline annually.