Numaligarh Refinery Ltd (NRL) and the Inland Waterways Authority of India have joined forces through a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to utilize the National Waterways-2 (Brahmaputra) and the Indo Bangladesh Protocol Route (IBPR) for exporting petroleum and petrochemical products to Bangladesh and other Southeast Asian nations. This collaboration is expected to stimulate trade and reinforce transportation infrastructure in the Northeastern region of India.
Under the terms of the MoU, NRL is set to export around 10,000 metric tons of petroleum and petrochemical products each month via the IWAI Jogighopa Multi Modal terminal. Additionally, NRL will establish a POL (Petroleum, Oil, and Lubricants) Oil Terminal at the Jogighopa Logistics Park, complete with rail connectivity, thereby further enhancing the efficiency of transportation infrastructure in the area.
The primary objective of this partnership aligns with the ‘Hydrocarbon Vision 2030 for Northeast,’ aiming to capitalize on the potential of inland waterways transportation via NW2 and IBPR. By doing so, the collaboration is poised to usher in a new era of export-import trade opportunities for the Northeastern region.
The MoU was officially signed by Subrata Das, Chief General Manager (Marketing) of NRL, and A Selva Kumar, Director of IWAI, in the presence of Union Shipping Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and Union Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Rameshwar Teli.
Union Shipping Minister Sarbananda Sonowal highlighted the significance of this collaboration, stating that it complements the “Act East Policy” and the Prime Minister’s Gati Shakti National Master Plan, aiming to revolutionize cargo movement in the region. He emphasized that India’s extensive network of water bodies and abundant hydrocarbon resources should be optimally utilized to realize the vision of the region’s growth.
The minister also acknowledged the remarkable progress in India’s waterways sector over the last nine years. The increase in cargo handling, cruise tourism, and investments in waterways attests to the transformative changes brought about by initiatives like the IWAI and the ministry of ports, shipping, and waterways.
Numaligarh Refinery Ltd is currently engaged in the Numaligarh Refinery Expansion Project (NREP), which holds significant promise for the region’s growth. The project has already demonstrated the efficiency of waterway transport by successfully transporting heavyweight consignments via IBPR and NW2. The collaboration’s results are poised to contribute to the region’s progress and overall trade development.