DHAKA, Bangladesh (AA) – Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said Sunday that her country would hopefully start importing fuel oil by pipeline from neighboring India in 2023.
“Bangladesh wants to import oil from India via pipeline, and hopefully it will be done in the next year,” the prime minister’s press secretary, Ihsanul Karim, quoted her as saying following a meeting with the visiting speaker of the Assam Legislative Assembly, Biswajit Daimary, in the capital Dhaka.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Hasina inaugurated construction work for the 130-kilometer (80.7-mile) India-Bangladesh Friendship Pipeline (IBFPL) project on Sept. 18, 2018, to facilitate the transportation of imported fuel oil and reduce its transport costs for Bangladesh.
The project was targeted for completion by December this year. In September, officials of both countries said that over 90% of the project had been completed, according to media reports.
The project will enable fuel oil products to be exported from India’s Siliguri Marketing Terminal in West Bengal State to Bangladesh.
Currently, fuel oil imported by Bangladesh is first unloaded from ships at the country’s main seaport in Chattogram district and then transported to other parts of the country by tankers, which is time-consuming and costlier.
According to the Dhaka-Delhi agreement, fuel oil will be transported for 15 years through the pipeline in the first phase.
In the wake of a fuel crisis in Bangladesh, the project is expected to boost long-term business growth and bilateral ties between the two countries.