Indo-Bangla Friendship Pipeline
As a bilateral project between India and Bangladesh, the Indo-Bangla Friendship Pipeline (IBFPL) aims to promote energy cooperation and improve economic ties between the two nations. The 130-km long pipeline will transport fuel from the Numaligarh Refinery Limited's (NRL) marketing terminal in Siliguri, West Bengal to the Parbatipur depot of the Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC). The pipeline, which has a capacity of one million metric tonnes per annum, is expected to be commissioned by next month.
- The construction of the IBFPL began in 2018, after the Prime Ministers of India and Bangladesh, Narendra Modi and Sheikh Hasina respectively, jointly laid the foundation stone for the project through a video conference.
- The total cost of the project is estimated at ?377.08 crore, with ?91.84 crore being invested by NRL for the Indian portion of the pipeline, and the remaining ?285.24 crore being funded by the Indian government as a grant-in-aid for the Bangladesh portion. The construction of the pipeline was completed on December 12, 2022, and the commissioning target has been set for February 2023.
- The IBFPL is expected to bring significant economic benefits for both India and Bangladesh. It will provide an efficient and cost-effective way for Bangladesh to import fuel oil from India, reducing the country's dependence on oil imports through sea routes. Additionally, it will also boost the local economy and create employment opportunities in the northeastern states of India.
- Construction of the pipeline faced several challenges, including difficult terrain, lack of infrastructure, and issues related to land acquisition. However, the project has been successfully implemented due to the strong friendship and cooperation between the two countries.
The Indo-Bangla Friendship Pipeline is a significant milestone in the energy cooperation between India and Bangladesh. It will not only improve economic ties between the two nations but also help to reduce the dependence of Bangladesh on oil imports through sea routes. The successful completion of the project will be seen as a testament to the strong friendship between the two South Asian nations.