Inland Waterways Authority of India, Numaligarh Refinery Ltd Partner To Export Petroleum Products

New Delhi: The Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) and Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL) have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to utilize National Waterways-2 (Brahmaputra) and the Indo Bangladesh Protocol Route (IBPR) for the export of petroleum products to Bangladesh and other countries in Southeast Asia. This significant collaboration took place in Guwahati, Assam.

Inland Waterways Authority of India Numaligarh Refinery -The collaboration aims to support the PM Gati Shakti National Master Plan, which is designed to enhance India’s Act East Policy. As part of this agreement, NRL will be exporting approximately 10,000 MT of Petroleum & Petrochemical products per month from the IWAI Jogighopa Multi Modal terminal.

NRL is set to establish a POL Oil Terminal at Jogighopa Logistics Park, including rail connectivity. This initiavtive aims to fulfill the ‘Hydrocarbon Vision 2030 for Northeast’ by enabling transportation through inland waterways using NW2 and IBPR, opening up new opportunities for EXIM trade in the Northeast region.

The National High-Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL) will provide 40 acres of land near the Jogighopa Railway station, with the intention of connecting to the nearest railway station and erecting the loading and unloading facility. The project also includes the realization of a vision to transport 10,000 MT of petroleum and petrochemicals products per month through NW-2 and IBPR from the IWAI jetty at the Jogighopa Multi-modal Terminal (MMT) Park.

The IWAI will offer its terminal for the movement of cargo, extend technical support, provide land for laying petroleum pipelines, and operate bunkering facilities at various locations along the Indian- Bangladesh Protocol Route (IBPR). Furthermore, the IWAI will assist through its vessels and provide technical expertise in the availability of vessels such as Tugs, Work Boats, Survey Vessels, and other vessels whenever necessary.

Speaking on the occasion, Union Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways and Ayush, Sarbananda Sonowal said, ‘It is watershed moment for inland waterways for promotion of trade in the Northeast India region. The MoU is aimed at powering the PM Gati Shakti National Master Plan to bring in transformative change in the cargo movement for the region.’

Under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji, the visionary Act East policy is empowering Northeast India to unlock the full potential of its Hydrocarbon vision 2030. Modi ji recognizes that the Northeast region has the capability to become the driving force behind India’s growth narrative. Exploring our extensive network of waterbodies and the abundant potential of hydrocarbon resources in the most efficient manner is essential to propel the Northeast region towards the realization of PM’s vision, he said.

The MoU was signed by A Selva Kumar, Director, IWAI and Subrata Das, Chief General Manager (Marketing), NRL.

Sonowal said, ‘NRL is in the process of executing the Numaligarh Refinery Expansion Project (NREP), a refinery expansion cum modernisation project with a capex of ₹28,026 Cr. As part of the project, NRL shall transport over 16 number of Over Dimension Consignment/Overweight Consignment (ODC/OWC). Already five ODC packages have been transported successfully from major industrial hubs in western India to NRL project site via the Haldia Port and through the IBPR and NW2. The weight of cargo transported till now amount to approximately 4,500 Metric Tonnes and if it was transported via roadways would have required about 300 trucks.’

He also highlighting the ‘Act East Policy’ mentioned that the IWAI and Ministry of Ports, Shipping & Waterways has been making transformational changes in the Waterways sector in India over the last 9 years. These measures have led to exceptionally remarkable changes. I am happy to let you know that cargo handled on National Waterways during 2013-14 was a mere 6.89 MMT whereas the cargo handled in 2022-23 rose to 126.15 MMT, clocking an exceptionally rate of 1734% growth.

National Waterways for Cruise Tourism rose from only 3 in 2013-14 to 10 in 2022-23 marking an increase of over 233%. The investment in waterways has gone up to ₹ 544.31 crores in 2022-23, registering a record growth of 198% in last nine years. In the Northeast, 20 National Waterways and various projects of more than ₹ 800 crores are being implemented for development of these National Waterways in the region, he added.

Further he stated, ‘Permanent terminals have been developed at Pandu and Dhubri. During last two years, Dhubri terminal has been extensively used and 385 cargo vessels moved from Dhubri to Bangladesh. Today, the rejuvenated waterways of the region is bringing in transformative transportation solutions powering the growth engine of India – the Northeast. With Modi ji’s encouraging leadership, this growth story remains robust as the powerful implementation of Act East Policy took flight to reach new zenith of growth and development for the Northeast region.’

The ceremony was attended by Union Minister of State for Petroleum & Natural Gas and Labour & Employment, Shri Rameshwar Teli; Minister of Transport, Excise & Fisheries, Assam, Shri Parimal Suklabaidya; Minister of Industries & Commerce and Public Enterprises and Cultural Affairs, Assam, Shri Bimal Borah; Shri Sanjay Bandopadhyay, Chairman, IWAI; Dr Ranjit Rath, Chairman, NRL and CMD, OIL; Bhaskar Jyoti Phukan, Managing Director, NRL ; Mayor of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC), Mrigen Sarania among other senior officials of IWAI and NRL.

Other NRL Projects

NRL is currently implementing a project of its refinery from 3.0 to 9.0 MMTPA at an approved cost of more than ₹28,000 crore which is scheduled for completion by early 2025. NRL has also initiated the process of implementing a project for setting up a petrochemical plant at a cost of ₹7,231 crore. NRL envisages to export 200 TMT of products per annum to Bangladesh through IWAI jetty in Jogighopa comprising diesel, petrol, solvent & polypropylene after commissioning of the expanded refinery and petrochemicals plant.

IWAI Projects

IWAI is currently working on the projects like alternative road to pandu port (NW2), Ship Repair facilities at Pandu (NW 2), construction of IWT terminal at Jogighopa (NW 2), construction of IWT terminal at Bogibeel (NW 2), construction of boundary wall at IWT terminal, Jogighopa; construction, supply & installation of 2 nos of floating jetties at Bogibeel & Guijaan (on NW 2); construction of 7 nos. of floating jetties at Jogighopa, Pandu, Biswanath Ghat, Sadiya, Hatsingmari, Oiramghat and Neamati (on NW 2), construction of IWT terminal at Sonamura on Protocol route-10 and renovation of terminal at Badarpur and Karimganj (NW 16). The Maritime Skill Development Centre for Northeast is already functional where regular training programmes are conducted to enable human resources in acquiring skillsets to become adept for maritime industry.

Earlier, NRL and IWAI had signed an MoU on 26 August, 2021 for transporting ODC and OWC through Maritime route utilising the National Waterways. The first such consignment was received at a jetty near Numaligarh in June this year.

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