State-run Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) plans to erect a $132m, 65km subsea pipeline across the Bay of Bengal to decrease the amount time taken for unloading crude and refined oil from tankers.

The pipeline to be erected by the end of 2012 and will link BPC’s depot close to the nation’s main Chittagong port with an offshore mooting point.

BPC general manager Rezaul Karim said that the pipeline would help decrease unloading time for a tanker to only two days, while it presently takes about 11 days.

BPC, which is Bangladesh’s sole importer and distributor of crude and petroleum products, currently deploys small vessels for unloading cargo from oil tankers.

A BPC official said the discharging procedure is cumbersome and also expensive, adding an extra operational cost of about $5,000 a day for each import tanker.

BPC imports 29 million barrels of petroleum products a year, including nine million barrels of crude oil, to satisfy Bangladesh’s demand. The country’s main sources of imports are Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and India.