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Nazmul Likhon
The Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation has made a move to set up a petroleum pipeline network to ensure quick supply of oil in the country.
The system is environ-friendly and will help reduce transportation time and cost. There is also a plan to form a new company for security of the pipeline, said official sources.
BPC sources said, “Currently, 90 percent oil is supplied through waterways, some 8 percent by railways and 2 percent by roads. Around Tk 140 crore is now spent annually for transportation of oil in the country.”
“Besides, transportation of petroleum goods is risky for the environment,” they said adding, “What is more, it takes time in transportation by road and rail, along with various types of accidents or problems like strikes, natural disasters etc. The petroleum pipeline network will help to overcome these problems and also save money.”
BPC said, currently the yearly demand for petroleum products is around 88 lakh metric tonnes in Bangladesh. Of this, only 6 lakh metric tonnes (Octane, Petrol, Kerosene and Diesel) are produced locally, while the rest is imported. The demand is also increasing. The BPC is going to implement the pipeline network under five projects. But the major challenge is security of oil and pipeline. To over come this problem, an initiative has been taken for implementation of a supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system by different companies. Besides, security guards will be recruited. BPC Chairman, Md Shamsur Rahman told Bangladesh Post, “The works of 4 pipeline projects are going on. Only Chattogram-Dhaka pipeline has not started yet. We have got an approval from ECNEC for this project. Hope the pipeline construction work will start soon.”
He said “We are trying to complete the entire project within the stipulated timeframe. The pipeline network will help transport petroleum products in a smooth, safe, faster and cost effective manner for securing energy security in the country.”
Two pipelines will be constructed at 110-kilometer length from Moheshkhali deep sea to Chattogram by single point mooring (SPM) in a double pipeline project.
Yearly carrying capacity of the pipeline is 90 lakh metric tons. Of this 45 lakh MT is crude oil and 45 MT is diesel. The project cost is around Tk 5,421 crore, and will be completed by 2020. Officials said, currently it takes 11-12 days to carry oil from the deep sea to Chattogram by small ships. When the pipeline is completed, it will take only 2-3 days. Besides, it will be possible to reduce the amount of waste in the import of crude and refined oil.
As a result, around $ 10 crore will be saved every year. Chattogram-Dhaka pipeline of 237 kilometres will be laid to transport white petroleum products from Chattogram to Godnail depot in a smooth, safe, faster and cost effective manner. It will be set up at a cost of Tk 2,500 crore by 2020. It has been planned to carry 27.2 lakh MT of diesel per year.
Laying of a 16 kilometre Jet A-1 pipeline from Pitolganj of Narayanganj (near Kanchan Bridge) to Kurmitola Aviation Depot (beside Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport) including pumping facilities, will be there to transport jet fuel.
The pipeline project will cost Tk 228.49 crore and will be completed by 2019. Its carrying capacity is 9 lakh metric tonnes.
Due to traffic congestion, it is risky to supply jet fuel by tank lorries through Dhaka city. That is why the initiative has been taken to construct the pipeline. BPC hopes it will reduce operating and transportation costs.
Besides, BPC will set up a pipeline from Guptakhal to Shah Amanat Airport of Chattogram to transport jet fuel. Yearly carrying capacity of the pipeline will be 3 lakh metric tonnes.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi had jointly launched the 136-kilometer long Indo-Bangla pipeline construction work on September 18.
The oil pipeline will supply one million metric tonnes of high-speed diesel per year to Bangladesh. The total cost of the oil pipeline is pegged at Tk 429 crore.
If the pipeline (India’s West Bengal’s Shiliguri up to Parbatipur oil depot of Bangladesh) is built, a large amount of transportation costs and oil system loss will be reduced annually. It will have a deadline to be completed by the end of December 2020, BPC officials said.
They said during the last two years of the present government, the storage capacity of imported oil has been doubled through different steps. This will be further expanded in the future.