Minister of State of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Dharmendra Pradhan flagged off a goodwill rail rake consignment carrying High Speed Diesel (Gasoil) from Siliguri Marketing Terminal of Numaligarh Refineries Ltd (NRL) to Parbatipur storage depot of Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) in Bangladesh.
The goodwill rail rake consignment for supply of 2200 MT (2700 KL) HSD of BS III Grade with 350 PPM Sulphur content is an outcome of the discussion between the two Governments. From Siliguri, the 42 wagons (each with a capacity of 64 KL) rail consignment will travel over 516 kms (253 km in India and 263 km in Bangladesh) on the existing railway line via Rangapani, Singabad, Rohanpur to Parbatipur, where it will be received by Nasrul Hamid, Minister of Power, Energy and Mineral resources, Government of Bangladesh and Harsh Vardhan Shringla, High Commissioner of India to Bangladesh on 19th March. The present consignment is a symbolic gesture of friendship and cooperation that exists between India and Bangladesh.
During the successful visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Bangladesh in June 2015, both India and Bangladesh welcomed the Sale-Purchase Agreement signed between NRL and BPC for construction of a pipeline from Siliguri to Parbatipur for supply of HSD to Bangladesh.
It was agreed to jointly work towards implementation of this ‘Indo-Bangla Friendship Pipeline’, a 135 kms pipeline project (5 km in India and 130 km in Bangladesh) with a capacity to carry 1 MMTPA from Siliguri terminal to Parbatipur depot of BPC.
The export of petroleum products from India to Bangladesh is also in line with the ‘Neighbourhood First Policy’ of Government of India to boost bilateral trade between the two countries and sub-regional cooperation with in SAARC. Presently, Bangladesh meets its requirement of petroleum products through imports at Chittagong port. The products are subsequently transported to the rest of the country using river route.
Once the NRL refinery expansion from present 3 MMTPA to 9 MMTPA is complete, India will be in a position to export petroleum products on a regular and long term basis to Bangladesh. Prior to the construction of the pipeline, the rail rake mode of transportation of product from Siliguri to Parbatipur is also an effective mode of transport with minimum loss and pollution.