Bangladesh consent sought for LPG transfer to NE
In order to cut the transit time and cost of Liquefied Petroleum Gas(LPG) to the north-eastern states, India has sought the permission of Bangladesh to allow transit through latter's territory. Indian oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan met Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury, energy adviser to Bangladesh Prime Minister Shiekh Hasina to discuss cooperation in petroleum trade and exploration. Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury has been invited to attend Paradip refinery inauguration.
ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL)- ONGC's wholly owned subsidiary, was to invest $103.2 million to explore oil and natural gas in 2 shallow water exploration blocks in offshore Bangladesh. OVL had already signed a Production Sharing Contract (PSC) and the exploration might commence in Oct'16. The contract would allow OVL to operate and sell oil and gas would deepen energy ties between India and Bangladesh.
India had given consent for increasing the electricity sale to Bangladesh from 500 MW to 1,100 MW on Bangladesh's request to meet its demand. The 1,320 MW Maitri power project in Bangladesh is also already under joint development by the Bangladesh-India Friendship Power Company. Bangladesh had also expressed its willingness to join the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline to receive gas from the Central Asian nation.
Assam-based Numaligarh Refinery Ltd.(NRL), a subsidiary of Bharat Petroleum would lay a pipeline to export petroleum products to Bangladesh. NRL had signed an MoU with Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation(BPC) for laying a 130 km long pipeline from NRL's marketing terminal in Siliguri to BPC's depot in Parbatipur. The Rs.350 crore project to be implemented through a Joint Venture would be a win-win for both nations.
Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. (IOCL) is exploring the possibility to ship products such as petrol and diesel from its new Paradip refinery to Bangladesh. Although the talks are in early stage, the contract when fructified would eventually help in meeting the energy requirements of Bangladesh. The 15 million tonnes per year Paradip refinery located in Odisha has the advantage of geographical proximity to Bangladesh.
For India's north-eastern states, shipping goods through Bangladesh is cheaper than taking it through the narrow Siliguri corridor because of reduced distance and time.