Home Bank & Finance 4-bank unable to pay $300 m BPC oil bills
Bank & Finance - January 1, 2024

4-bank unable to pay $300 m BPC oil bills

Syed Nasir Hossain : The dollar crisis in the country is still not over. In this, the importers are confused about the opening and settlement of the LC for the import of goods. The state-owned Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) has not been spared from this. Due to the dollar crisis, the company is not able to pay the import price of fuel oil properly. As of December 30, BPC has overdue bills of around $300 million. However, due to the dollar crisis, four state-owned banks are unable to pay the LC. BPC’s fuel oil import is at risk.
The issue of BPC arrears was brought up in the inter-ministerial meeting held recently in the Energy Department. According to the sources of the meeting, BPC currently has the highest bill payment due through the state-owned Sonali Bank. The bank has an LC of $132.29 million pending settlement. Apart from this, the banks could not pay the oil import bill pending the settlement of LC of $107.65 million in Agrani Bank, $56.13 million in Janata Bank and $1.26 million in Rupali Bank.
According to sources, BPC opened an LC of $2.11 and $29.39 million through Sonali Bank on August 28 for octane from Singapore-based Vital Asia (B-7). The bank was supposed to pay the full amount of the two LCs on November 22nd and 23rd. However, five times the bank paid $25 million. Due to the dollar crisis, the bank has not yet been able to pay $6.50 million.
Similarly, LC of $32.77 million for octane import under Vitol (B-14) was opened on October 12 with the same bank. The oil supplier was due to pay the price on October 30. But the bank has not been able to pay any amount till now. Due to which the company owes BPC $32.77 million. Three LCs worth $24.32 million were opened for import of Mogas and petrol from Vital (D-2). In between, the bank was supposed to pay the price of two LCs on 29 and 30 December. But not even one LC could pay the price. As a result, $19.94 million is due in this LC of BPC.
BPC opened two LCs of $33.31 million with Janata Bank on October 11 for importing octane from Vitol (B-13). Of this, $22.77 million were paid. $10.54 is still owed. And through Agrani Bank, an LC of $30.27 million was opened for the import of octane from Vitol (B-16). The bank paid only $5 million after the deadline. $25.27 million is still owed.
Similarly, Indonesian company PT Bumi Siak Pusako (BSP) also has outstanding bills. BPC through Sonali Bank opened an LC of $ 14.47 million for the import of furnace oil from BSP G-8 of this institution, the payment of which was due on October 1. Of this, $6 million have been paid, but $8.47 million are still owed. An LC of $15.38 million was opened with Janata Bank for import of furnace oil from BSP G-11. Even after the stipulated time, the bank could not pay any amount. The company owes the entire amount to BPC.
BPC opened LC of $13.04 million for import of gas oil from BSP G-14 through the same bank. This institution also did not pay any amount on time. As a result, the entire amount is owed to BPC. Besides, LC of $27.71 million was opened from BPC for import of Mogas from BSP G-2 through Agrani Bank. The bank paid $20 million. There are still $7.71 million in outstanding bills. Two LCs of $31.10 million were opened for importing gas oil from BSP G-14 through the same bank. Even though the payment period has expired, the bank has not yet paid any amount. As a result, the company owes $31.10 million to BPC.
In addition, Unipac Singapore Pte Ltd (Unipac) opened an LC of $33.67 million in Janata Bank for importing gas oil from A-14. The company was paid $26.50 million. $7.17 million is still outstanding. LC of $30.26 million was opened in Rupali Bank for import of gas oil from Unipac G-13 company. Although the bank paid the $29 million, BPC still owes $1.26 million.
BPC opened two LCs in Agrani and Sonali Bank for import of gas oil from Inc. G-5 and Inc. G-7. Out of this LC of $34.40 million was opened through Agrani Bank. The bank has paid $20 million but still owes $14.40 million. And LC of $30.56 million was opened through Sonali Bank. No payment has been made even though the payment period has expired. BPC opened a LC of $15.28 million for importing furnace oil from Singapore based PCSG G-1 in the same bank. Of this, $10 million have been paid, but the company still owes $5.28 million.
Apart from this, LC of $59.93 million and $25.56 million respectively was opened by BPC through Janata Bank and Sonali Bank for repayment of Jeddah-based ITFC. Of this, Janata Bank paid $49.93 million. Sonali Bank could not pay any amount. Because of this, BPC owes $35.56 million to ITFC. On the other hand, Malaysia-based PTLCL G-08 owes $29.17 million to BPC, which Agrani Bank is supposed to pay. And India’s NRL owes $3.21 million. Sonali Bank could not repay this LC due to dollar crisis.
It is to be noted that due to the dollar crisis, several supplier companies refused to supply the scheduled oil to BPC last September as they could not pay the outstanding fuel bills. At that time, two companies (Vital Asia and Unipac) made it clear that they would not supply oil without payment of dues. As of September 17, BPC’s debt stood at $407.42 million. Some bills have since been paid. However, there is still an outstanding bill of around $300 million.

Check Also

Govt plans to borrow Tk 2.5 tr for budgetary support in FY 2025

Mahfuja Mukul: Government’s dependence on debt to meet development and operational expendi…