Assam: NRL & IWAI Ink MoU For Transportation Of Cargo

Assam: NRL & IWAI Ink MoU For Transportation Of Cargo

In a boost to the waterways of the country especially for Assam, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed on Thursday between Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL) and the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI)  for 'Transportation of Over-Dimensional Cargo and Project Cargo of Numaligarh Refinery Using Inland Water Transport'.

The MoU signing was held in the presence of Sarbananda Sonowal, Union Minister for Ports, Shipping and Waterways, and AYUSH, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, and Rameshwar Teli, Union Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas who attended virtually at Kunjakanan-NRL Township. P Srinivasan, Director (NER), IWAI, and Shri A P Chakraborty, Sr. CGM ( Projects), NRL were the signatories of the MoU.

The MoU will pave the way for making rivers navigable throughout the year by IWAI and assist in bringing large cargoes and capital equipment including single-piece prefabricated process plants for the refinery expansion project. Also, it will open up Trade and commerce as outward freight movement in a large consignment will be possible from river Dhansiri, adjoining the Refinery in the future.

Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said, "We have been working towards reviving the Pandu port for swift economic development since we came to power in 2016. Under the Honourable leadership & vision of PM Narendra Modi ji, we got an opportunity to explore the potential through inland water. Through Act East Policy, we have an opportunity to seize the commerce & market products of NER in South East Asia by exploring this untapped potential of global market potential".

"Our traders and farmers can now access these revived waterways to secure the global market potential and sell their produce and products at a premium for the overall economic development of Assam, Northeast, and India," he said.

As part of the Hydrocarbon Vision 2030 of the Government of India, Numaligarh Refinery Limited has embarked on a major refinery expansion project to treble its existing refining capacity from 3 MMTPA to 9 MMTPA. As part of the project, over 1,000 pieces of equipment shall be transported from across the country and abroad.

Several of the equipment shall fall under the category of Over Dimensional Consignment (ODC) and Over Weight Consignment (OWC). NRL intends to implement multimodal transportation through roads and waterways to secure the delivery of the equipment. Due to various limitations in road transportation, the sea and riverine routes shall be leveraged to connect the major ports in the western region of the nation to the Northeast region up to NRL.

As part of the transportation process, NRL shall be using Self Derrick Vessels for transportation at Sea up to Haldia port. Barges shall be used for transportation along the riverine route along Indo Bangladesh Protocol Route and Assam.

13 ODCs have been identified for transportation exclusively through the sea and waterways. The maximum dimension of the ODC equipment shall be 97 M in length, 10.3 M in diameter, and 960 MT in weight. As the maximum length of the barge is restricted to 60 m, equipment with a length larger than 60 m shall be transported in two pieces.

Dredging operations shall be carried out extensively along the riverine route to facilitate the transportation process. RORO facilities shall be augmented at the NRL Jetty as per requirement.

The infrastructural development is envisaged along the waterways can be used in the future for shipping of dry cargo from the refinery and agricultural produce from the region, thereby enhancing connectivity of the Northeast with the rest of the country and also extending our footprint to global export destinations.

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