PM Modi, Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina inaugurate the cross-border energy Friendship Pipeline as part of bilateral energy cooperation.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina on Saturday evening jointly inaugurated the cross-border Friendship Pipeline as part of bilateral energy cooperation that will allow Bangladesh to import diesel from India.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the India-Bangladesh Friendship Pipeline will enhance cooperation in energy security between their two countries. Addressing the event via video conference, PM Modi said the inauguration of the pipeline marks a “new chapter in India-Bangladesh relations”. He said the two leaders had laid the foundation of the project in September 2018.
“I am happy that today along with Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina we are inaugurating it,” he said. “I am sure this pipeline will add pace to the development of Bangladesh, and it is also a prime example of the increasing connectivity between our two nations,” PM Modi added.
Referring to the increased rail connectivity, he said: “I remember that a few years back PM Sheikh Hasina had expressed her vision to resume the rail connectivity that existed prior to 1965. And from then both nations have done a lot of progress on this front.” He said the rail connectivity had proved useful, as during the Covid times India was able to supply oxygen and other essentials via the railway network.
“I congratulate PM Hasina on her farsightedness,” he said. PM Modi said that it is “a happy coincidence that this inauguration is taking place a day after the birth anniversary Jayanti celebrations of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman”. Bangladesh celebrated the 103rd birth anniversary of its founding father, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. “Bangabandhu’s Shonar Bangla vision encompassed the friendly development and progress of the entire region, and this joint project is a prime example of that,” he added.
He said that work on the 131.57 km pipeline continued even during the Covid times, and added that it will help provide 1 Million Metric Ton Per Annum of High-Speed Diesel to northern Bangladesh.
PM Modi said the pipeline will not only help reduce costs of the petroleum but also reduce carbon footprint, and would be very beneficial for agriculture and businesses. He added that the inauguration comes at a time when across the world many countries are struggling to maintain their energy and food supplies. “That’s why it is very significant,” he added.
PM Modi said that under the leadership of PM Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh has witnessed a lot of development, and all Indians are proud of it and happy to have participated in its progress story. This is the first cross-border energy pipeline between India and Bangladesh, built at an estimated cost of INR 377 crore, of which the Bangladesh portion of the pipeline was built at a cost of approx. INR 285 crore, has been borne by the Government of India under grant assistance, an official statement said. The Pipeline has the capacity to transport 1 Million Metric Ton Per Annum (MMTPA) of High-Speed Diesel (HSD).
It will supply high-speed Diesel initially to seven districts in northern Bangladesh. The operation of the India- Bangladesh Friendship Pipeline will put in place a sustainable, reliable, cost-effective, and environment-friendly mode of transporting HSD from India to Bangladesh and will further enhance cooperation in energy security between the two countries, it added. The pipeline will run from the Siliguri-based marketing terminal of the Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL) to the Parbatipur depot of Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC).
He also said, “In the last few years, under the able leadership of PM Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh has made remarkable progress. Every Indian is proud of that and we’re delighted that we’ve been able to contribute to this development journey of Bangladesh,” PM Modi said during the inauguration. “I am confident that this pipeline will further speed up the development of Bangladesh and be an excellent example of the increasing connectivity between both countries,” he added.
The cost has been borne by the Indian government under grant assistance.
The friendship diesel pipeline has the capacity to transport one million metric tonnes per annum (MMTPA) of high-speed diesel. It will initially supply high-speed diesel to seven districts in northern Bangladesh.