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Single Point Mooring

ERL to sign another deal with Chinese company

April 03, 2024 00:00:00

Eastern Refinery Limited (ERL) is going to sign another supplementary contract with its contractor China Petroleum Pipeline Engineering Co. Ltd (CPPEC) to complete the testing and commissioning of the country's first Single Point Mooring (SPM) with Double Pipeline project, reports UNB.

Under "the fifth supplementary contract", the Chinese company will hire a tugboat with adequate capacity and provide associated services for completing the testing and commissioning of the newly installed SPM.

The Cabinet Committee on Government Purchase (CCGP) in its last meeting on March 27 approved a proposal of the Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) in this regard.

The ERL is a subsidiary of the BPC and it has been implementing the SPM project.

According to official sources, the ERL will sign the Tk 628.3 million-deal with the Chinese company to facilitate the completion of the commission work.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in November last formally inaugurated the operation of the newly installed SMP to offload the imported petroleum fuel directly from vessels and transport it through pipeline to the fuel tanker in the land.

A senior official of the ERL said that initially the SPM will be operated by its Chinese contractor and later a private operator will be hired for its full-fledged operation.

According to officials, the offloading of fuel oil from mother vessels through SPM will save at least Tk 8 billion per annum.

This SPM will make the country's energy management system more economical, sustainable and environment friendly, they said.

SPM officials said it now takes only 48 hours to transfer the imported petroleum from the mother vessel to storage tanks.

Previously, it took 11 to 12 days to reach the imported fuel to the oil tanker of ERL at Petenga area through lighterage ships, which is very time-consuming, expensive, and risky.

Currently, no lighterage is required to carry fuel from the mother vessel, which is now moored at the outer quay, after the implementation of the project, said the officials.

The SPM was built on over 90 acres of land under a G2G project of Bangladesh and China at a cost of Tk 83.41 billion at Maheshkhali Upazila in Cox's Bazar.

Officials said that there are three tanks having a storage capacity of 180,000 kilolitre crude oils and three tanks with 108,000 kilolitre furnished oil.

A 15-kilometre pipeline has been installed from land up to deep sea to directly unload imported petroleum oil to the SPM, which has the capacity of unloading 9 million tonnes every year.

A 120-kilometre pipeline was also built from the SPM project to Eastern Refinery Limited to treat the crude oil.

The SPM also has a storage capacity of 45,000 tonnes of crude oil.

As part of the project work, approximately 135 kilometres (km) of offshore pipeline and 58 km of onshore pipeline have also been installed.

As part of the project, some six storage tanks were built of which three tanks will be able to store crude oil with 60,000 kilolitre capacity each and the rest be able to store diesel with 36,000 kilolitres each.

The Netherlands-based Blue Water completed the construction of SPM 'Boya' at the project site.

The BPC currently pays $5.50 per tonne to lighterage or small vessels, owned mainly by the Bangladesh Shipping Corporation, to ferry petroleum to its onshore tanks from larger mother vessels. The SPM will save the cost of the BPC.

Bangladesh annually imports around 6 million tonnes of crude and refined oil. Of that, 1.3 million tonnes are crude oil and refined petroleum products the remaining.

According to the officials, a 36-inch-wide pipeline from the mooring point carries the crude oil to the tank at Kalamarchara in Matarbari.

Later, the oil is taken to the Eastern Refinery in Patenga, Chittagong, 220 kilometres away, through an 18-inch wide pipe.

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