NRL officials with vessel Sand Shiner from Malaysia at Haldia port.

The Numaligarh Refinery Ltd (NRL) on Sunday received its first consignment of imported Miri crude oil from PETRONAS, Malaysia.

A railway rake comprising 50 tank wagons and carrying around 2,760 metric tonnes of crude oil reached NRL from Haldia port in West Bengal, an official statement said.

Also known as Sweet Crude for its low sulphur content Miri crude oil is close in specifications to Assam crude oil, which the refinery is currently processing from the oil fields of upper Assam.

“This is for the first time that crude oil is being imported by NRL which would help us attain better capacity utilization of its existing refining capacity of 3 MMTPA; which has  till now been constrained due to non-availability of adequate domestic crude oil,” NRL managing director SK Barua said.

“We have also embarked on a mega refinery expansion project to treble our capacity from 3 to 9 MMTPA and developing capabilities for sourcing of crude oil augurs well for its future,” he added.

“Crude oil availability in Northeast has gradually declined over the years and is not able to cater to the requirement of 7 MMTPA for all the four Northeast refineries put together.

“As a result, the Guwahati– Barauni Pipeline which was earlier being used to transport crude oil from the region to other parts of the country is now being utilised for reverse flow of crude oil into the region, Barua said

The vessel named, Sand Shiner containing 19,600 metric tonnes of Miri crude oil reached Haldia Port from Miri Port, Malaysia after sailing for 10 days.

The consignment of crude oil was ceremonially received by MD Barua in the presence of chairman, Kolkata Port Trust (KoPT) Vinit Kumar and other senior officials of both the companies.

Ritupallab Saikia

Ritupallab Saikia is Northeast Now Correspondent in Golaghat. He can be reached at: mousum.saikia@gmail.com

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