In a historic development, Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL) inked a 15-year long-term sale and purchase agreement with Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) for export of Gas Oil (Diesel) to Bangladesh.
The aforesaid agreement was formally signed between MD NRL P Padmanabhan and Chairman BPC A H Md Rahmatul Muneem in presence of Indian external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj in Dhaka on October 22, said a press statement.
Under the deal, BPC will initially take up to 0.25 Million Metric Ton per annum (MMTPA) of Gas Oil from NRL for the first three years via the proposed 133-km Indo Bangla Friendship Pipeline (IBFPL) with a capacity of 1 MMTPA. The quantity will be increased gradually from 0.25 MMTPA to 0.40 MMTPA over a period of 15 years and will come into effect after the pipeline is built.
The aforesaid deal with NRL is Bangladesh’s first long-term agreement with any Indian Oil Company.
Earlier, India and Bangladesh entered into a new era of petroleum trade with a goodwill train flagged off by the Indian minister of state for petroleum and natural gas Dharmendra Pradhan on March 17 in 2016 from NRL’s Siliguri Marketing Terminal to Bangladesh. This was the outcome of discussion and the affirmative relationship between the two governments in sync with the ‘Neighbourhood First Policy’ of the government of India to boost bilateral trade between the two countries and sub-regional cooperation within SAARC.
Thereafter, on April 8 in 2017, another railway rake containing Diesel from NRL’s Siliguri Marketing Terminal to BPC’s Parbitipur Depot was flagged off by the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina through the remote device from New Delhi. A few more railway rakes have been dispatched from NRL to BPC during the intervening period.