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Dhk-Ctg oil pipeline project: BPC keeps changing deadlines

MIR MOSTAFIZUR RAHAMAN | Published: October 22, 2019 10:44:14 | Updated: October 23, 2019 13:57:43


The Dhaka-Chittagong oil pipeline project has hit speed bump for slow work, thus failing to meet the deadline for umpteenth times.

The Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BP  C) has undertaken the Tk 28 billion project to reduce oil transportation cost and avoid system loss.

The pipeline was supposed to be completed in 2019, but only 12 per cent of the project work has been finished so far, an official of the state-run Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation told the FE on Monday.

The progress, in terms of spending project fund, is 6.0 per cent, said the official preferring anonymity.

In July 2016, state minister for energy, power and mineral resources Nasrul Hamid Bipu told the Jatiya Sangsad that the pipeline stretching 250 kilometres will conclude within three years.

His statement followed the remarks from the then energy secretary, who in 2015 said the project would be completed by 2017.

Then in July 2017, the corporation's high ups announced that the land acquisition for the project would be completed by one month.

But the land acquisition has yet to be completed, though two years elapsed.

The land for acquisition has been earmarked and the related land documents are being examined, BPC chairman Md Shamsur Rahman said.

"We are serious about the project, though it may take more time than we targeted," he said.

The BPC plans to save around Tk 1.50 billion annually as transportation cost against transporting 1.5 million tonnes of petroleum.

It costs the corporation Tk 1.08 billion every year and there is an average system loss of 16 per cent, which is estimated at Tk 950 million.

Under the project, the BPC will lay 237.71-km 16-inch diameter pipeline from BPC's Chattogram tank terminal to Godnail tank terminal in Narayanganj.

Another 8.29-km 10-inch diameter pipeline will be installed from Godnail to Fatullah in Narayanganj to carry oil.

A 59.23-km 8-inch diameter pipeline from Comilla to Chandpur will also be set up to supply oil to Chandpur areas.

The pipeline will carry imported and refined petroleum from the port city to Dhaka, the highest oil-consuming area.

According to the BPC, Dhaka and its adjacent areas consume nearly 1.5 million tonnes of oil a year.

The BPC imports nearly 1.3 million tonnes of crude oil and 4.2 million tonnes of refined oil.

Besides, different natural gas fields and private fractionation plants supply around 0.30 million tonnes of petroleum products.

From Godnail and Fatullah in Narayanganj, oil tankers usually transport oil through waterways to the depots in the country's northern areas including Baghabari (Pabna), Chilmari (Kurigram) and north-eastern Chachna Bazar (Sunamganj).

It is alleged that a section of oil tanker owners are not happy with the project fearing considering loss in their business.

No tanker owner was not immediately available for comments.

mirmostafiz@yahoo.com

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