The Financial Express

Coronavirus outbreak: SPM project moves at snail's pace

| Updated: June 30, 2020 12:01:22

Evaly and Fianancial Express Evaly and Fianancial Express
Picture used for representational purpose - Collected Picture used for representational purpose - Collected

CHATTOGRAM: Work of the Single Point Mooring (SPM) project at Moheshkhali in Cox's Bazar is now progressing slowly due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Even though the work is not progressing in full swing, the authority concerned is trying their best to complete the project within the stipulated time.

They have also sent a letter to the ministry concerned seeking extension of time for completing the project.

Project director Sharif Hasan said the construction work is being hampered due to the coronavirus outbreak.

"But the work is in progress despite a shortage of local and foreign workers," he told the FE.

Around 45 per cent of the project hadbeen completed and they were expecting to complete the project by August 2021, he added.

"We have sent a letter to the planning ministry seeking further time extension of the project."

Sources said around 200 Chinese workershad been stuck in their mainland following the outbreak of the deadly virus in December last year. As a result, the work has been slowed down and they could not make much progress as per their work plan, they added.

Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) has taken up the project to transport imported petroleum to state-owned Eastern Refinery Limited (ERL) at Patenga in the port city in order to reduce transport cost of petroleum and ensure prompt direct unloading from deep sea vessels.

The SPM project was taken up in 2012 and after completing the official process, the government awarded the contract to Chinese company China Petroleum Pipeline Bureau (CPP).

BPC signed a contract with the CPP on December 07, 2016 to implement the 'SPM with Double Pipeline' project by December 2019 at a cost of $550.40 million.

Under the project, a total of 220-km pipeline will be installed in the Bay of Bengal to transport imported crude and refined oil, according to sources.

They said the SMP project is being implemented with financial support from China.

The total cost of the project is Tk 54.26 billion. Of the total cost, Chinese Exim Bank is financing Tk 42.93 billion while the Bangladesh government is providing Tk 10.21 billion and BPC is investing the remaining Tk 1.11 billion from its own fund.

The SPM will have an annual unloading capacity of 9 million. It will be able to unload 120,000 tonnes of crude oil in 48 hours and 70,000 tonnes of diesel in 28 hours.

The SPM project will also include construction of three crude oil tanks, three HSD tanks, main pumps, booster pumps and other pumps, installation of generator for power supply, housing facilities, administration and other buildings, pigging system, custody metering system, security system and firefighting system.

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