BPC to import 8 lakh tonnes furnace oil to feed rental, quick rental power plants

The state-owned Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) will import 8 lakh metric tons of furnace oil to fuel the rental and quick rental power plants in six months beginning from July this year.

The BPC recently finalised the import estimation of the heavy fuel oil (HFO) after it had received requirements from the state-owned Power Development Board (PDB). The PDB has deals to purchase electricity from the rental and quick rental power plants.

The government allowed setting up the rental and quick rental power plants as short term measure to address the nagging power crisis. But production cost of the plants is very high.

The rental and quick rental power plants now generate about 2,000 MW of electricity. The government has to supply fuel to these plants at a subsidised rate and also purchase electricity from them at a relatively higher rate through giving subsidy.

BPC Chairman Abu Bakar Siddique told UNB that he has received the demand notes about the furnace oil requirements recently and finalised a plan to import about 8 lakh metric tons of fuel for the coming months.

He said the Cabinet body recently approved six proposals for import of 1.650 tonnes petroleum fuels which were mainly diesel, kerosene, octane and jet fuel.

“There was no proposal for furnace oil import. But, now we’ll move proposal for furnace oil import after completion of import negotiation with different suppliers,” the BPC chairman said.

He also noted that the BPC will talk to different international banks to obtain loan for import of the fuels in the six months.

Sources said after receiving the Cabinet approval, the BPC is completing its necessary procedures to import a total of 1.650 million metric tons of different refined petroleum oils worth about $ 1.518 billion from six countries.

The fuel supplying companies of six countries from which the BPC will import petroleum include Kuwait Petroleum Corporation, Malaysian Petronas Trading Corporation, Singapore-based Petrochina International, the Philippines’ PNOC Exploration Corporation, Egypt’s Middle East Oil Refinery Limited (MIDOR), and the Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC).

The country’s annual fuel consumption is about 5-6 million metric tons. Of them, it needs about 2.5-3 million in the first half and the rest is imported in the next half of the year. Diesel and furnace oil are the main components of this.

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