IOC looks to use Total’s Bangladesh LPG terminal, may open office there
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 at Myanmar to oversee operations there. “We are looking at the possibility of feeding LPG to the North-east through Bangladesh. In Chittagong, there is a terminal of Total and we plan to utilise this,” said IOC Chairman Sanjiv Singh, adding that Bangladesh too would benefit as IOC would 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 jointly build an LPG terminal which would serve both Bangladesh and the eastern and north-eastern parts of India. Singh said that IOC would 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 to 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 at Chittagong, tankers can move across Bangladesh through land to Tripura, reducing the distance and time. Ioindianoil had once transported LPG through trucks across Bangladesh from Assam to Tripura. Singh added that the company is also open to laying a pipeline and that it is talking to the Bangladesh authorities.
In August, petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan had said that India would set up an energy cooperation network with the neighbouring countries of Myanmar, Bangladesh and Nepal. Under the project, pipelines would be laid to transport diesel, LPG and other petroleum products. In addition, as per the government’s Hydrocarbon Vision 2030, 6,900 km pipelines are planned to be laid to connect Myanmar, Bangladesh, most of the North-eastern states and West Bengal’s Siliguri and Durgapur.
Singh informed that physical work on the proposed product pipeline between Motihari, India, and Amlekhganj, Nepal, would commence soon. “The work should start in two months. It will provide relief not only to Nepal but also to 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.