To expand its business in Bangladesh, Indian Oil Corp (IOC) is looking to utilise global energy giant Total’s liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) terminal in Chittagong to supply cooking gas to the north-eastern part of India. The oil marketer may also set up an office in Bangladesh. Separately, IOC is also planning to set up an office in Myanmar to oversee operations there. “We are looking at the possibility of feeding LPG to the northeast through Bangladesh. In Chittagong, there is a terminal of Total and we plan to utilise this,” said Sanjiv Singh, chairman, IOC, adding that Bangladesh will also benefit as IOC will be able to provide packed LPG in the country.
In April 2016, Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation and IOC had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in Dhaka to build an LPG terminal jointly which would serve both Bangladesh and the eastern and north-eastern parts of India. Singh said IOC will also go for its own facility but Total’s is an existing facility and operations can be commenced quickly. The time line for the terminal to start operations was three-four years from the time of signing of the MoU.
At present, LPG is supplied to the north-eastern states through Assam. If LPG is unloaded in Chittagong, tankers can move across Bangladesh through land to Tripura, reducing the distance and time. IOC once had transported LPG through trucks across Bangladesh from Assam to Tripura. Singh added that the company is also open to lay a pipeline and that it is talking to Bangladesh authorities.
In August, petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan had said India will set up an energy cooperation network with neighbouring countries of Myanmar, Bangladesh and Nepal. Under the project, pipelines will be laid to transport diesel, LPG and other petroleum products. In addition, as per the Hydrocarbon Vision 2030, 6,900 km of pipelines are planned to be laid to connect Myanmar, Bangladesh, most of the northeastern states and West Bengal’s Siliguri and Durgapur.
Singh said the physical work on the proposed product pipeline between Motihari in India and Amlekhganj in Nepal will commence soon. “The work should start in two months. It will provide relief to not only Nepal but also India as rather than road transport, we will have a reliable way of feeding Nepal. Within India, IOC is building the Pardip-Haldia-Durgapur LPG pipeline which will be extended to Muzaffarpur and Gorakhpur. In addition, it is laying gas pipelines from Dhamra to Paradip and Dhamra to Haldia, apart from laying a product pipeline from Paradip to Hyderabad.