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NRL team for Bangla tour

Guwahati, Aug. 1: A delegation of Numaligarh Refinery Limited, headed by managing director P. Padmanabhan, will visit Bangladesh this month in a bid to fast-track the Indo-Bangla Product Pipeline.

“The Bangladesh government and the Indian High Commissioner’s office have invited us to visit the country to expedite the project. I think they are serious enough to push the project and hence the interest,” Padmanabhan told The Telegraph.

Padmanabhan, who joined NRL in April, was earlier the executive director (refineries co-ordination) with Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited and has been trying to get projects off the ground. The scheduled date for the visit is August 17.

Though NRL had talked about this project earlier, not much headway was made. Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation has expressed interest to import one million metric tonnes per annum of high-speed diesel from Numaligarh and the latter agreed to supply it from its Siliguri marketing terminal.

Both the companies are planning to develop a 135km-long green-field cross-border capacity product pipeline system from the terminal at Rangapani in Siliguri, Bengal, to the BPC’s petroleum product storage depot at Parbatipur in Dinajpur district.

The pipeline will have one dispatch station at Siliguri and a receiving terminal at Parbatipur with the option to transport other white oil products in the future.

“The good thing is that a route survey is going on both sides at this time,” he said. A source said the contract for carrying out the survey has already been awarded.

A reconnaissance survey, detailed route and other surveys and collection of hydrological data, geo-technical investigation of water bodies, cadastral survey, and others are under way for the project.

The reconnaissance survey will select the best route by proposing at least three best pipeline routes.

On the status of the agreement signed with Nepal’s Birat Petroleum Private Limited (BPPL) for selling of motor spirit and high-speed diesel, the official said a new government has taken charge in Nepal and it takes time to get the clearances. “The supply of motor spirit and high speed diesel will, however, start once the clearances are received,” he said.

Under the agreement, NRL will supply nearly 100 kilolitres of motor spirit and 5,000 kilolitres of high-speed diesel per month to BPPL.

NRL’s foray into Nepal is a strategic move to generate market for its products in view of the proposed expansion of its annual refining capacity from three to nine million metric tonnes.

The total demand of petroleum products in Nepal is around one million metric ton per annum.

Padmanabhan said there would be no dearth of funds for the proposed Rs 20,000 crore-expansion. “Once the clearances come, the project will take four years to complete,” he said. The detailed feasibility report should be ready by December after which it will go to the board for approval.


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