India’s union minister of state (I/C) for petroleum and natural gas, Dharmendra Pradhan is travelling miles to further the country’s bilateral energy ties with nations across the globe.
After his recent visit to Iran, UAE and Saudi Arabia last week, Pradhan is currently on a three-day visit to push for a host of projects by Indian state-owned oil firms including setting up a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) terminal in Bangladesh and a pipeline to export petroleum products.
Pradhan is in Bangladesh from April 17th to 19th and will take stock of the ambitious agenda set for the India-Bangladesh Hydrocarbon Sector during the visit of Prime Minister, Narendra Modi to Bangladesh in June 2015.
Status of Indian proposals that have been shared with the Bangladeshi side, including on setting up of hydrocarbon related infrastructure project in Bangladesh, setting up of LPG import terminal at Chittagong by IOCL and the Indo-Bangla Friendship Pipeline were also discussed.
An official release said that Pradhan met Dr Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury, Adviser on Energy, Power and Mineral Resources to the Prime Minister of Bangladesh and Nasrul Hamid, Minister of State for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources of Bangladesh.
During the meetings, Pradhan discussed issues in the bilateral Hydrocarbon Sector between the two countries. He also discussed modalities for sustainable supply of High Speed Diesel from Siliguri Marketing Terminal of Numaligarh Refinery Ltd (NRL) to Parbatipur Depot of Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC).
Pradhan expressed confidence that early implementation of these projects will create win-win situation for both countries. He briefed his interlocutors on the status of seismic survey being carried out by ONGC Videsh Ltd in offshore blocks allocated to it by Bangladesh.
MoU between IOCL and BPC on broad aspects of cooperation in downstream oil and gas sector opportunities in Bangladesh was signed in his presence. The MoU paves the way for discussion on setting up LPG import terminal at coastal belt of Chittagong district, marketing of LPG and developing related infrastructure in Bangladesh, transportation LPG from Chittagong to Tripura and any other form of Hydrocarbon sector related cooperation of common interest as may be agreed by IOCL and BPC.
IOCL would also be conducting a feasibility study for construction of LPG import terminal and pipeline from Chittagong to Tripura. On 19th April, 2016, Pradhan will travel to Chittagong for a day visit where he is scheduled to witness the award of contract by Eastern Refineries Ltd to Engineers India Ltd for its expansion of its refinery by 3 MMTPA.