By Our Correspondent
NEW DELHI: Indian Minister of State (I/C) for Petroleum & Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan met his Bangladesh counterpart Nasrul Hamid, Minister of State for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources. Hamid is on an official visit to Delhi. The visit is a follow up of visit to Bangladesh by Sh Pradhan led delegation in April this year.
During the meeting, Pradhan thanked Bangladesh for permitting Indian trucks carrying petroleum products from Meghalaya to Tripura via Bangladesh. In August this year, the Bangladesh Government had agreed to India’s request to facilitate the movement of IOCL trucks carrying petroleum goods to Tripura through its territory to address the shortage of these products in India’s North-East region. Heavy Monsoon rains in the region had badly affected the roads, including NH 44, resulting in non- plying of goods trucks, creating a situation of scarcity of essential petroleum goods.
Pradhan discussed with his Bangladesh counterpart the issue of supply of High Speed Diesel (HSD) from Siliguri terminal of Numaligarh Refineries Ltd (NRL) to Parbatipur depot of Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC). NRL and BPC have agreed for supply and purchase of HSD for a period of 20 years through the proposed Indo-Bangla Friendship Pipeline between Siliguri and Parbatipur. Both sides are working on details of the pipeline project, including its financing.
Both Ministers also discussed the status of various Indian proposals that have been shared with the Bangladeshi side, including the setting up of LPG import terminal at Chittagong by Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL) and its onward transportation by road to Tripura bottling plant and onshore LNG Terminal by Petronet LNG Ltd (PLL) in Kutubdia Island near Chittagong. PLL is finalising an MoU with Petrobangla on setting up of the LNG terminal. Both Sides also discussed the possibility of supplying gas through a pipeline from Dhamra LNG Terminal which is under construction to Bangladesh via Duttapulia in West Bengal.
The two Ministers reviewed the progress on the PMC work being carried out by Engineers India Ltd (EIL) on the expansion of Eastern Refineries Ltd, Chittagong. Pradhan acknowledged that M/s Padma Oil Company (a subsidiary of BPC) had selected EIL for conducting Feasibility Study of multi-product pipeline from Chittagong to Dhaka (270 KM) and assured that EIL would complete the study in a professional manner.
The issue of exploratory activities by ONGC Videsh Ltd was also reviewed by both Ministers. Bangladesh requested India’s assistance in setting up of network for supplying LPG to high-rise buildings and apartments, cooperation in the field of bio-fuels and training of its personnel in hydrocarbon sector. India has agreed to work with Bangladesh in these sectors and share its experiences.