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BPC forced to import octane on emergency basis

02 Apr 2017, 21:57

UNB

Dhaka: Demand for octane has increased following the rise in price of CNG, prompting the government to move for importing the high-value petroleum on an emergency basis, in view of reductions in local production as well.

According to official sources, the state-owned Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation recently had to import 15,000 metric tons of octane from Indonesia after a two-year break.

The government didn’t have to import octane from abroad in the last two years, with domestic production enough to meet the local demand.

But recently, it was found that the demand for octane was growing at a fast pace and the BPC had to resort to importing octane on emergency basis to keep the local supply normal.

This was revealed in the Energy Division`s proposal seeking the Cabinet Purchase Committee`s approval for the import of the 15,000 metric tons of octane from Indonesia.

The BPC officials submitted that the recent hike in CNG prices has prompted some car owners to use octane instead of CNG, which ultimately led to the rise in demand for octane.

The government raised price of CNG per unit price to Tk 38 from Tk 35 with effect from March 1.

The BPC, however, said the constraints in getting octane from local sources was also a major reason for its move to import 15,000 mt of octane from Indonesia.

The BPC outsources octane production to two private local refineries and one public refinery (ERL), which produce octane by using the locally produced condensate coming from different gas fields.

The BPC gets about 225,000mt of octane to meet its locals demand. Its estimated daily demand is 452mt and monthly demand is 13,560mt. But recently, the demand has increased by 2730mt per month.    

But adequacy of local supply became uncertain when ERL announced plans for shutdown of its production for more than a month, said a BPC official.

The BPC calculated that the country was operating on just 13 days’ reserve supply of octane. To tackle the situation, the BPC on emergency basis moved to import the 15,000 mt of octane, said the officials.

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