On August 25, 2023, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) and Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL) in Guwahati, Assam to use National Waterways (NW)-2 (Brahmaputra) and Indo Bangladesh Protocol Route (IBPR) for export of petroleum products to Bangladesh and other south East Asian countries.
- The petroleum products will be transported through the IWAI’s upgraded jetty in Jogighopa in lower Assam.
NRL is a Category-I Miniratna Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE) under the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas(MoPNG) based in Assam.
The signing of the MoU was conducted by A Selva Kumar, Director of IWAI, and Subrata Das, Chief General Manager (Marketing) of NRL in the presense of Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Ministry of Ports, Shipping & Waterways (MoPSW) Bhaskar Jyoti Phukan, Managing Director, NRL, and Sanjay Bandopadhyaya, Chairman of IWAI.
What is in the MoU?
The NRL Part:
i.Under this, NRL will export approximately 10,000 metric tonnes (MT) of petroleum and petrochemical products per month through NW – 2 and IBPR from IWAI jetty at the Assam’s Jogighopa Multi-Modal terminal (MMT) Park.
- NRL is the biggest refinery of North East.
ii.NRL will provide 40 acres of land with a provision of getting connected to nearest Railway station at Jogighopa, and also erect the loading and unloading facility.
iii.NRL will establish a POL (Petroleum, Oils and Lubricants) Oil Terminal at Jogighopa Logistics Park, which will be linked by rail.
The IWAI Part:
i.IWAI will provide its terminal for cargo movement.
ii.It will also provide technical support, land to lay down petroleum pipeline, bunkering facilities to be operated at various places en-route IBPR, provide assistance through its vessels, technical assistance in making available vessels like Tugs, Work Boards, Survey vessels and other vessels as and when required.
- This partnership supports the ‘Hydrocarbon Vision 2030 for Northeast’ by improving inland waterways transportation through NW2 and IBPR, which will led to the advancement in EXIM (Export Import) trade for the Northeast.
ii.It is also on the lines with the PM (Prime Minister) Gati Shakti National Master Plan, and PM’s Act East policy.
iii.NRL is expanding its refinery through ‘Numaligarh Refinery Expansion Project (NREP)’ from 3.0 to 9.0 MMTPA (Million Metric Tons Per Annum), costing over Rs 28,026 crore, with completion expected by early 2025. Additionally, Rs 7,231 crore petrochemical plant project is underway.
- After these projects are completed, NRL aims to export 200 TMT (Thousand Metric Tons) of various products annually to Bangladesh through the IWAI jetty in Jogighopa. These products will include diesel, petrol, solvent, and polypropylene.
iv.Cargo handled on NWs during 2013-14 was 6.89 MMT (Million Metric Ton) whereas in 2022-23 it increased to 126.15 MMT, showing 1734% growth.
v.NWs for Cruise Tourism rose from 3 in 2013-14 to 10 in 2022-23 marking an increase of over 233%.
vi.The investment in waterways also showed a growth of 198% to Rs 544.31 crores in 2022-23 from 2013-14.
vii.In the Northeast, 20 NWs and various projects of more than Rs 800 crores are being implemented for development of NWs in the region.
Recent Related News:
i.On 9th June 2023, Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Ministry of Ports, Shipping & Waterways (MoPSW), launched “Sagar Samriddhi – Waste to Wealth”, an online dredging monitoring system as part of the ‘Waste to Wealth’ initiative of the MoPSW.
ii.On 27th June 2023, The Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal launched ‘Sagar Samajik Sahayyog’ the new guidelines of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) by the MoPSW.
About Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI):
IWAI is the statutory authority in charge of the waterways in India.
Chairman– Sanjay Bandopadhyaya
Headquarters– Noida, Uttar Pradesh (UP)
Parent Ministry– Ministry of Ports, Shipping & Waterways (MoPSW)