Dhaka turns to KL for fuel
Wednesday, 08 October 2008


Bangladesh is increasingly moving away from the traditional suppliers of refined fuel and has now turned to Malaysia after a recent decision to purchase from the Maldives.

A proposal to purchase nine lakh metric tonnes of different types of refined fuel from Malaysian state agency Petronas Trading Corporation (Petco) was approved Monday by the cabinet committee on economic affairs at a meeting chaired by finance adviser AB Mirza Azizul Islam.
This is the first large quantity of fuel, nearly a third of annual requirement, being procured from Malaysia by the government, though small purchases have taken place in the past.
Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC), the government arm for fuel import and marketing, would directly buy the nine lakh tonnes fuel from Petco.
Bangladesh needs roughly four million tonnes of fuel oil, nearly a fourth of it is crude.
Kuwait has long been the key supplier of fuel—crude or refined—for Bangladesh.
"For import of this nine lakh tonnes of fuel from Malaysia no agreement between governments would have to be signed. BPC and Petco will sign the agreement," the adviser told journalists after the meeting.
He also said the cabinet committee on public purchase will finalise the transport cost of the fuel in its meeting.
Said BPC chairman Anwarul Karim to bdnews24.com Monday evening: "As far as my knowledge goes Bangladesh did not import any fuel from Malaysia in last 4 to 5 years. Earlier fuel was imported from Malaysia but the quantity was small. This is the first time a big amount of fuel is being imported from the country."
Explaining the decision to import from Malaysia, the BPC chairman said, "Some countries including Kuwait are doing monopoly business with fuel. They demand much higher transport cost.
"The decision to import fuel from Malaysia has been taken as the premium is much lower than those countries."
Earlier the cabinet committee on purchase in its Sept 2 meeting decided to buy 1.5 lakh metric tonnes refined fuel from the Maldives, the first time fuel had been sourced from there.
The finance adviser said, "We had been searching for (alternative) markets for quite some time to import fuel."
The meeting also approved proposals regarding sale of state owned loss-making concerns Satrang Textile Mills (Tongi, Gazipur) at Tk 7.78 crore, Karnaphuli Rayon and Chemicals (Chandraghona, Kaptai) at Tk 51.11 crore and Particle Board Veneering Plant at Chittagong Kalurghat at Tk 26.54 crore, the finance adviser informed.

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