The state-owned Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL) in Assam on Thursday signed an MoU with the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) to make rivers navigable throughout the year to ferry Over Dimensional Consignments (ODCs) and Over Weight Consignments (OWCs) from across the country and abroad.IWAI Director (Northeastern Region) P Srinivasan and NRL's Senior Chief General Manager (Projects) A.P. Chakraborty signed the MoU to 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."The MoU would open up trade and commerce with outward freight movement in large consignments using the Dhansiri river adjoining the NRL in the future," Srinivasan said.Chakraborty said that as part of the 'Hydrocarbon Vision 2030' of the Central government, NRL has embarked on a major refinery expansion project to ramp up its existing refining capacity from three million metric tonnes per annum (MMTPA) to nine MMTPA.He said that as part of the project, over 1,000 equipment, including several ODCs and OWCs, would be transported from across the country and abroad.
NRL intends to implement multimodal transportation through road and waterways to secure delivery of the equipment.According to NRL officials, due to various limitations in road transportation, the sea and riverine routes shall be leveraged to connect the major ports in 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 via sea up to the Haldia port in West Bengal."Barges shall be used for transportation along the riverine route along the India-Bangladesh Protocol Route and Assam. Thirteen ODCs have been identified for transportation, exclusively through sea and waterways," an NRL statement said.The MoU was signed in the presence of Union Ports, Shipping and Waterways Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, and Union Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Rameshwar Teli, who attended the ceremony held at the Kunjakanan-NRL township virtually.The NRL, one of the four refineries in oil and gas-rich Assam, was set up at Numaligarh in Golaghat district in accordance with the provisions made in the Assam Accord signed on August 15, 1985. It was conceived as a vehicle for speedy industrial and economic development of the region.The NRL was dedicated to the nation by former Prime Minister late Atal Bihari Vajpayee on July 9, 1999.