The work to install a 146km off-shore pipeline at a record depth beneath the seabed of the Bay of Bengal has been completed, said sources.
The Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) took up the project to set up a single point mooring (SPM) to unload imported crude and refined oil from large ships anchored in the deep sea.
It will help the state-owned corporation to save around Tk800 crore annually that it now spends for unloading fuel with lighterage ships.
The normal depth of trench digging in the offshore industry is 1.5-3 metre, but in the given project around 100km pipeline was buried 11.9 metre beneath the seabed to avoid the commercial and naval waterways, reports Global Times.
The pipeline project, however, missed the deadline for the third time as the other part of it – 74km pipeline onshore – has not been completed yet.
Currently, the authorities aim to complete the project by June next year, but it was scheduled to be done by June this year after extending its implementation period twice.
Md Sharif Hasnat, project director of SPM with double pipeline, told The Business Standard, "Out of 220 metre pipelines, around 214km has already been laid out.
Now, we are trying to complete the project by June next year."
SPM with double pipeline is a key oil transportation and storage project that will facilitate BPC to bring large ships above 100,000 deadweight tonnage (DWT).
The project is expected to have an annual unloading capacity of nine million tonnes of fuel whereas the country's current demand for fuel is around 6.3 million tonnes annually.
At present, large ships with crude and finished oil cannot anchor at the country's main seaport in Chattogram due to low navigability of a channel.
Large vessels carrying fuel come in the bay and anchor in the deep sea for unloading through lighterage ships.
Currently, BPC can import a maximum 32,000-35,000 tonne fuel in each ship, though the ships have higher capacity.
In order to ensure fuel supply security and to reduce the import cost and time, BPC launched this project in 2015.
As per the initial design, the project was supposed to be completed during November 2015 to December 2018.
With the latest extension, the cost of the project has been escalated by 33% to Tk6,568 crore from that of initial Tk4,936 crore.