DHAKA: The China Petroleum Pipeline Bureau (CPPB) is yet to arrange funds to install a single-point mooring (SPM) at Sonadia island and two 220km-long pipelines to connect the SPM with Chittagong’s Eastern Refinery Limited (ERL). Funding for Bangladesh’s first SPM was scheduled to be arranged by June and the project was scheduled to completed by 2020. An SPM facilitates the transfer of crude oil from mother vessels to offshore tanks and then to onshore tanks. The project’s main objective is to ensure the unloading of imported crude oil in a more efficient and time-saving manner.
State-owned Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) initiated the SPM project five years ago to handle the transfer of crude oil from Kutubdia to Patenga. “We have written to CPPB to arrange funds as early as possible but are yet to get any response,” BPC Director (operations and planning) Sayed Mohammad Mozammel Haque told the Dhaka Tribune. On December 8 last year, the BPC signed a Tk5,426.26cr deal with China’s state-owned oil pipeline contractor CPPB to install a SPM.
Chinese Exim Bank will provide Tk 4293.12 crore and Bangladesh will arrange Tk1021.19 crore while the BPC will invest the remaining Tk111.95 crore. The CPPB will set up the project as EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) contractor. With installation of the SPM, the BPC will be able to cut the oil-unloading period to nine days from the existing 21 days, from a 20-ton lighter ship. The CPPB will build the SPM as well as the pipelines that will connect the SPM with ERL. Currently, the BPC imports crude and refined petroleum from the Middle-East and other countries through Chittagong Port. Large oil tankers unload crude oil to lighter vessels, which carry it to Eastern Refinery for distillation.