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Bangladesh to invest in major pipeline network to transport petroleum products

The Bangladeshi government plans to build five major pipelines within three years, with a total length exceeding 600 kilometres (km), to transport petroleum products across the country at a cost of around BDT81.21 billion (USD988 million), The Financial Express reported.

The pipeline network includes four intra-country pipelines and a cross-country pipeline with India, said Sayed Mohammad Mozammel Haque Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC), director for operations and planning. Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) is a government agency which is authorised to import, distribute and market crude oil and petroleum products. A subsidiary, Eastern Refinery Limited (ERL), is the only refinery in the country, with a crude throughput capacity of 1.5 millon metric tonnes per year. Bangladesh consumes around 6.0 million tonnes of petroleum products annually.

The network will include a 237-km pipeline to transport diesel fuel from Chittagong to Dhaka, a 17-km pipeline to carry jet fuel from Pitloganj of Narayanganj to Kurmitola aviation depot, two 110-km pipelines to be constructed under a single-point mooring (SPM) system to transport crude oil and diesel fuel from offshore vessels to an onshore terminal in Chittagong and a 130-km pipeline to transport diesel fuel from India’s Numaligarh refinery to Parbatipur in northern Bangladesh.

India’s state-owned Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd. (BPCL) will pay for the construction cost of the 130-km pipeline, of which 125-km pipeline will be inside Bangladeshi border and the remaining 5-km in India. In return, BPC would import diesel fuel from BPCL’s Numaligarh refinery for 15 years.

Currently, Bangladesh depends on coastal tankers, rail cars and tank lorries to transport petroleum products from Chittagong to end-consumers. Small barges, mostly owned by the private sector, have also been carrying petroleum products on various river routes. BPC estimates that it spends around BDT1.4 billion (USD17 million) annually to transport fuels around the country.

The proposed Dhaka-Chittagong 237-km pipeline will transport around 3.0 million tonnes per year of diesel fuel from the Chittagong oil terminal to the Godnail terminal in Narayanganj, Dhaka, to cut cost and time in fuel transportation. The pipeline will be built by 2020 at a cost of BDT25 billion (USD304 million).