Fuel oil supply to get even better soon
Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) has planned to set up an LPG terminal at Matarbari in Cox’s Bazaar which will be capable to serve all the LPG operators in Bangladesh.
Upon implementation of the project, the private LPG operators will be able to buy LPG (propane and butane) in bulk from the terminal at low cost, instead of individual imports.
“The BPC is going to appoint a consultant in this regard soon as asked by the Energy and Mineral Resources Division,” BPC Chairman Abu Bakar Siddique told a meeting with the Forum for Energy Reporters Bangladesh (FERB) on Thursday.
The government had earlier refused such proposals by local and foreign investors, according to official sources.
The government has already issued 43 licenses to private operators – 22 of them are now in operation. Their total annual capacity would be more than 4.0 million tonnes against a demand for little more than 1.0 million tonnes.
The chairman, who joined the BPC just a month ago, said the terminal is planned to be operated in joint venture with experienced organization. He also informed that the district administration would acquire the necessary land for setting up the terminal.
“It’ll help facilitate importing LPG at bulk quantity and at lower cost. So, the private operators would be able to procure their necessary LPG at low cost and, thus the retail LPG price will come down,” he added.
Now, the local LPG operators import LPG in small quantity – from 2,500 to 3,500 tonnes per consignment due to shallow draft of Bangladesh coast – and, as a result, the import cost goes up.
In comparison, according to an expert, the planned terminal would have the capacity to handle very large ship with having the capacity up to 60,000 tonnes with storage facility, which will help reduce the transportation cost by around 70 percent.
Mr. Siddique also made it clear that the state-run company does have any plan right now to expand its LPG market from only 2.0 percent, although the price of its 12.5-kg bottle is Tk 600 only, much less than the bottles being supplied by the private operators.
Turning to the supply situation of fuel oil, the BPC chairman said there has been hardly any problem now – the country had to suffer difficulties long before in only one or two occasions since the independence of the country.
However, there is a little problem in the northern part of the country, he said, adding that it would also be solved soon with the implementation of oil pipeline from the Numaligarh refinery in India to Parbotipur in Bangladesh. “The construction work of the pipeline is expected to be launched in the first week of December 2020.”
The BPC chairman also informed the energy journalists that the implementation of Chattogram-Dhaka fuel oil pipeline is getting delayed a bit due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but the work was progressing.
The work on single point mooring (SPM), meant for facilitating import of crude oil in bulk, is also progressing well (40 percent) and would be completed timely.