Home Bangladesh Three mega projects changing landscape of fuel transportation
Bangladesh - April 29, 2024

Three mega projects changing landscape of fuel transportation

Zarif Mahmud: Three mega projects are going to change the landscape of fuel and oil transportation in Bangladesh. The three mega projects are SPM (Single Point Mooring), Bangladesh-India Friendship Pipeline Project and Dhaka-Chittagong Pipeline Project.
Among these, SPM (Single Point Mooring) and Bangladesh-India Friendship Pipeline have already come into operation. And the Dhaka-Chittagong pipeline is going to be completed this year, said a source in the ministry.
Now the consumer does not have to go through many roads to reach the fuel oil. Again, the supply of fuel oil will be dependable even in rain-clouds or hartal, strike. Not only is uninterrupted supply guaranteed, but one SPM will save at least Tk 1000 crores annually! Fuel oil system loss will also be reduced.
For this, SPM with double pipeline has been installed at Maheshkhali in Cox’s Bazar. So far imported fuel oil ships used to anchor in deep sea. From there it took 11-12 days to reach the refinery tank by lighter ship. Being SPM, it will take only 48 hours to transport the same amount of oil. This eliminates the waiting charges of the mother vessel and the transportation cost of the lighterage vessel.
A floating buoy is placed in the deep sea southwest of Maheshkhali Island. From that buoy, two separate 36-inch diameter pipelines run through the ocean floor to the storage tank terminal. For a crude oil circulation. Diesel transport operations have already started successfully with another.
The mother vessel will anchor in the deep sea. From there, the oil will reach Chittagong’s main fuel oil facility in a few hours through the pipeline.
Minister of State for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid said that SPM (Single Point Mooring) will make an effective contribution to making fuel oil management cost-effective and sustainable. If the project is launched, it will save Tk 1 thousand crore annually.
He said, under the project, 6 large storage tanks have been built along the 220 km pipeline; Through which the oil storage capacity of Bangladesh has reached a new height.
SPM project director Sharif Hasnat told, “It takes at least 11 days to unload oil from a big ship.” Sometimes it takes more time to release this oil. Especially if the sea becomes rough then rescue becomes uncertain. Penalties sometimes took longer than agreed with shipowners. With the implementation of the SPM project, it will be possible to release diesel and crude oil in 28 to 48 hours. On the one hand, the ship rent will be reduced, on the other hand, it will be possible to prevent system loss and various types of theft in oil transportation.
Bangladesh does not produce fuel oil. As much as 40 percent of gasoline and octane supply comes from condensate from gas fields. A large amount of diesel and other products are imported. A large amount of fuel is imported, by river. But due to the lack of navigation in the river ports, big ships cannot enter the port. That is why we have to rely on lighterage ships.
Oil is brought from the mother vessel by lighter or smaller vessels, to the BPC (Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation) depot.
From BPC, the oil is again transported by ship to different parts of the country. In particular, oil has to go through various hurdles to reach by rail wagons and tankers. The matter was time-consuming and dependent on many factors. There, too, the wind of change is beginning to be felt.
Finally, the Dhaka-Chittagong oil pipeline is almost complete. Although the pre-survey was completed in 2017, the project could not go ahead due to various reasons.
Under this project financed by Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC), Dhaka-Chittagong 237 km, 59 km from Comilla to Chandpur, 8.5 km from Fatulla to Godnail depot will be laid. BPC expects to save transportation cost of Tk 65 crore annually if the pipeline is commissioned.
Under the project, construction of 237 km pipeline has been completed. Now the finishing work of Chittagong Dechpress Terminal and Fatulla in Narayanganj is going on. The Department of Energy and Mineral Resources is hopeful of commissioning the pipeline before December.
On the other hand, the energy transport system of the northern region, famous for its granaries, was very complex and multi-channel, hand-twisting. Oil was taken by lighterage. Also,Tangoli, another route is to reach by railway. Now there is also a change, the Bangladesh-India Friendship Pipeline.
The India-Bangladesh Friendship Pipeline construction project was undertaken in 2018 to provide uninterrupted, fast and cost-effective energy supply to 16 districts in the northern part of the country. The construction period of 131.5 km pipe line at a cost of Tk 3,623 crore was till June 2023. The pipeline has reportedly been commissioned ahead of schedule.
Due to this pipeline extending from India’s Numaligarh to Bangladesh’s Parbatipur depot, the northern region will increase its fuel storage capacity by an additional 29 thousand metric tons per day. It will be possible to easily supply fuel to power plants, supply oil to 16 districts of the northern region at a low cost and in the fastest way due to this pipeline.

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