Two Bangladeshi private companies – Beximco Petroleum Ltd and Omera Petroleum Ltd – will supply liquefied petroleum gas from Bangladesh to north-eastern Indian state of Tripura under an arrangement between the two countries, according to Bangladesh officials.
LPG in bulk will be sourced by road tankers from both Mongla LPG import terminal and the LPG bottling plant at Ghorashal in Narsingdi district.
A trial supply of the gas was carried out in August 2019, they said.
Regular supplies will start at the earliest as prime minister Sheikh Hasina and her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi jointly inaugurated the sourcing of bulk LPG from Bangladesh to Tripura on October 5 in New Delhi during her latest official visit to that country.
Earlier, an expression of interest was sought from prospective LPG suppliers in Bangladesh in August 2017 for the supply of the gas in bulk from Bangladesh to Tripura.
In response, three parties namely Omera Petroleum Ltd, Beximco Petroleum Ltd and Premier LP Gas Ltd conveyed their interest for the job on the basis of the qualtities delivered.
‘Out of the three, the first two parties got the approval to export LPG to India,’ an official said.
The supply from Bangladesh will cut the distance of the LPG source for the Indian state from 1700 kilometres to 200 kilometres.
The distances from the stipulated LPG supply points in Bangladesh to the designated Bishalgarh plant in Tripura are within 200 kilometres and the entire route is through a plain terrain which big 18-MT road tankers can easily use, officials noted.
The government has been providing tax benefits to domestic bottlers of Bangladesh for popularising bottled LPG gas amid a severe shortage of piped gas in the country, government officials said, adding that it would be necessary to keep an eye on whether the suppliers of India would use the same benefit to increase their profit margin.
Indian union minister of petroleum and natural gas Dharmendra Pradhan said that his country had also obtained clearance from Bangladesh to bring LPG through the Chittagong port for a steady supply of the item to Tripura round the year, according the Business Standard newspaper of India.
President of the National Committee for the Protection of Oil-Gas and Mineral Resources, Electricity Sector and Ports Sheikh Muhammad Shahidullah and its member-secretary Professor Anu Muhammad described the LPG supply as against national interests as the country was in a severe gas crisis.
‘Only influential business groups and India would benefit from this arrangement,’ they said in a statement on Sunday.
They also demanded cancellation of LPG export to India.
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