Dhaka, Mar 18 (PTI) Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said on Saturday that her country's first cross-border oil pipeline with India will play a vital role in ensuring fuel security in Bangladesh at a time when the world was facing a serious energy crisis due to the Ukraine war.
Hasina said this while virtually inaugurating with her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi the 131.5-km Bangladesh-India Friendship Pipeline’ on Saturday.
Terming India a "true friend" of Bangladesh, Hasina said she wanted this friendship to remain intact.
The pipeline costing Rs 377 crore is part of energy sector cooperation between the two neighbouring countries through which Bangladesh will import petroleum, especially diesel from India.
“When many countries across the world are on the verge of a fuel crisis due to the Russia-Ukraine war at that time this pipeline will play a vital role in ensuring the fuel security of our people,” Hasina said.
"The friendship pipeline is a milestone achievement in cooperation for the development between the two friendly countries," she said.
Apart from ensuring fuel security, the pipeline will increase the economic growth,” she said.
Hasina said the time and expenditure for importing diesel from India will be reduced significantly by this pipeline.
“We have settled all our bilateral problems one by one... We are getting cooperation for our development from India," she was quoted as saying by the state-run United News of Bangladesh.
"We're importing 1160MW of power from India. Some more regional and bilateral initiatives in the power sector are under implementation. Our cooperation to this end will be deep-rooted in the days to come," she added.
“We will work jointly in the national and international arena. The historic and geographical bond will further consolidate the relations between Bangladesh and India," she said.
Hasina also invited Indian investors to invest in her country.
Modi also spoke at the event joining from his office.
He said the pipeline will start a new chapter in India-Bangladesh relations.
"The pipeline will aid faster development of Bangladesh and will be an excellent example of increasing connectivity between the two countries," he said.
The pipeline will run from the Siliguri-based marketing terminal of the Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL) to the Parbatipur depot of Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC).
According to the deal, India will send 200,000 tonnes of oil annually in the first three years, 300,000 tonnes per annum in the next three years, 500,000 tonnes annually in the next four years and 1 million tonnes annually afterwards, bdnews24.com reported.
The pipeline with India will cut the transportation cost of fuel oil for Bangladesh by 50 per cent, State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid said earlier.