Fuel oil import on emergency basis in offing

Shakhawat Hossain   | Published: 00:10, Nov 17,2019


Import of 30,000 tonnes of octane on emergency basis is under process by the Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation to meet the demand for the fuel pushed up by the ever growing number of cars and bikes on the roads of Bangladesh.

BPC officials told New Age Saturday that the demand for the automobile fuel  sharply increased in last six months.

BPC chairman Shamsur Rahman said demand for octane had gone up after the price of Compressed Natural Gas was increased by 7.5 per cent to Tk 43 per cubic metre from Tk 32 in June.

Many motorists have developed the interest to  fuel their cars with octane rather than Compressed Natural Gas, he said.

The spectacular increase  in the number of bikes on the roads across the country also rapidly pushed up the demand for petrol, he said.

According to the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority, 3,40,432 motor cycles were pressed on roads across the country after registration until October.

In 2018, said the BRTA 3,95,603 motor cycles were pressed on the roads after registration.

It said that 18,428 cars and jeeps were pressed on the roads in first 10 months of the current year in addition to 23, 782 in 2018.

BPC already imported 90,000 tonnes of  octane in the first 10 months of the current year, exceeding the  projection of 60,000 tonnes for the whole year.

In 2018, the BPC chairman said that 32 lakh tonnes of diesel was consumed against the import of 46 lakh tonnes.

He said octane accounts for 17 to 20 per cent of BPC’s fuel oil imports though it sold at a price higher than the import price.

But diesel is sold at subsidized price, he said.      

Energy and Mineral Resources Division officials told New Age that they had forwarded BPC’s proposal to import octane to the cabinet committee on economic affairs.

Energy and mineral resources division secretary Abu Hena Rahmatul Munim said that the octane would be government-to-government purchase.

He said BPC would fund the import bill with its own resources.

On November 6, a government committee approved a proposal by the BPC to borrow $800 million from the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation, lending arm of the Islamic Development Bank, for importing crude and refined petroleum products from November 2019 to December 2020.

The BPC borrows from the ITFC mainly to import crudes from Saudi Aramco and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company and to get them refined by the Eastern Refinery Ltd, a BPC subsidiary.

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