Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the inauguration of the friendship pipeline has started a new chapter in India-Bangladesh relations.
"In the last few years, under the capable leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh has made remarkable progress. Every Indian is proud of that and we are delighted that we've been able to contribute to this development journey of Bangladesh," said the Indian premier after the inauguration of the first cross-border energy pipeline on Saturday.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Indian counterpart opened the 131.57-kilometer pipeline through a video conference as part of cooperation in the energy sector between the two neighbouring countries. Highlighting that the inauguration was taking place a day after the birth anniversary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, founding leader of Bangladesh and father of Sheikh Hasina, PM Modi said the joint project is a perfect example of his 'Sonar Bangla' vision. With a capacity to transport one million metric ton per annum (MMTPA) of high-speed diesel, the pipeline will supply high speed diesel initially to seven districts in northern Bangladesh.
"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 will further enhance cooperation in energy security between the two countries," Indian Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.
Of the pipeline, 126.57 kilometers are in Bangladesh while the remaining 5 kilometers have been installed in India.
The Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC), the state agency under the Energy and Mineral Resources Division, has been implementing the project under a 15-year deal with India to annually import 250,000 tons to 400,000 tons of diesel from the neighbouring country through the cross-border pipeline.
The deal was signed in 2017 following the approval of the Cabinet Economic Affairs Committee on August 23.
Bangladesh annually needs to import 6.6 million tons to 7.7 million tons of diesel to meet its demand.