Dhaka: Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday said that the Bangladesh-India Friendship Pipeline will play a "vital role" in ensuring the fuel security of the country while many nations face fuel crises due to the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine. She made the remarks while virtually inaugurating the India-Bangladesh Friendship Pipeline with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The India-Bangladesh Friendship Pipeline is the first cross-border energy pipeline between the two nations.
While addressing the event, Sheikh Hasina said, "At a time when many countries across the world are on the verge of fuel crisis due to the Russia-Ukraine war, this pipeline will play a vital role in ensuring fuel security of our people." Sheikh Hasina said that the pipeline will increase economic growth.
She called the pipeline an achievement of cooperation between two nations. She stressed that the 16 districts of Bangladesh will be benefitted from the pipeline.
Bangladesh PM said, "The time and expenditure for importing diesel from India will be reduced significantly by this pipeline." Sheikh Hasina said that she wants the friendship between the two nations to remain intact.
She noted that India made the 131.57 kilometres pipeline from Numaligarh Refinery Limited to Dinajpur district of Bangladesh's Parvatipur. She said, "Through railways, we imported 60-80 thousand metric tons of diesel from India. With this pipeline, Bangladesh can import 10 lakh metric tons of diesel."
Sheikh Hasina said that the government has developed Mongla Port, Chattogram port, Sylhet International Airport, and Chittagong International Airport and India can use all these ports. She emphasised that both nations will be benefitted from these ports.
"We are opening these ports for India completely, there will be no problem for India to use these ports. It will ease the trade and business activities, and the people of the both countries will be benefitted," Sheikh Hasina said.
While addressing the event, PM Modi said, "I am confident that this pipeline will further speed up the development of Bangladesh and be an excellent example of the increasing connectivity between both countries."
He said, "In the last few years, under the able leadership of PM Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh has made remarkable progress. Every Indian is proud of that & we're delighted that we've been able to contribute to this development journey of Bangladesh."
The India-Bangladesh Friendship Pipeline has been built at an estimated cost of Rupees 377 crore, of which the Bangladesh portion of the pipeline built at a cost of approximately Rupees 285 crore, which has been spent by the government of India under grant assistance, the Prime Minister's office said in a press release.
The pipeline has the capacity to transport 1 Million Metric Ton Per Annum (MMTPA) of High-Speed Diesel (HSD, according to the press release. It will supply High-Speed Diesel initially to seven districts in northern Bangladesh.
The Prime Minister's office in the press release said that the operation of India- Bangladesh Friendship Pipeline will put in place a sustainable, reliable, cost-effective and environment-friendly mode of transporting HSD from India to Bangladesh and further enhance cooperation in energy security between the two nations.