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Power & Energy - December 28, 2023

BPC fears of oil supply disruption

Shipment cancelled for dollar crisis

Staff Correspondent: The dollar crisis is not ending in the energy sector. Even after repeated letters and meetings with the Finance Department, Bangladesh Bank, etc., the problem is not resolved. With the intervention of the higher levels of the government, discounting of the dollar has started recently, but it is insignificant compared to the demand. Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) is unable to pay its oil suppliers due to insufficient dollars. The crisis has reached such a level that international oil companies are canceling their shipments. Almost every month, four or five scheduled ships do not come to the country with oil. As a result, stocks of diesel, furnace oil and jet fuel are expected to fall. Sector stakeholders fear that uninterrupted supply of fuel oil will be disrupted in the upcoming irrigation season (December-May) if this continues.
BPC not getting dollars
Foreign oil suppliers will receive $246 million from BPC till this week. Out of this, Unipec will get $8.43 million, PCSG $5.28 million, Vitol $75.08 million, BSP $75.70 million, PTLCL $29.17 million, Inc $14.40 million and NRL $3.21 million. In a recent letter, BPC has told the finance department that some of the creditor institutions have threatened to pay the dues quickly or they will not send the cargo.
Meanwhile, $35.56 million have accumulated as loan installments of Islamic Trade Finance Corporation. Most of the dues are stuck in Sonali Bank. Besides, Janata Bank, Rupali Bank and Agrani Bank are unable to pay dollars.
In this regard, a general manager of BPC told Daily Industry that they have money, but dollars are not available. As much as the dollar is available, the demand is negligible. BPC received $135 million in the last one month. Fuel oil cannot be imported even after opening the LC due to lack of dollars.
Shipment cancelled
It is learned that some foreign companies have canceled their oil cargoes for not getting their dues on time. Two ships have been canceled this week as well. This has put a strain on the stock of jet fuel. The next ship is scheduled to arrive in the country on December 29. Two officials of the distribution companies said that the situation may worsen if the dollar crisis is not resolved. The irrigation season is ahead, when the demand for diesel is highest. If regular ships do not arrive during this time, uninterrupted diesel supply may be disrupted.
The demand of diesel in the country for the next irrigation season has been estimated at 12.50 lakh tons. The government has directed BPC to maintain a permanent stock of 150,000 tonnes of diesel.
The demand of fuel oil in the country is about 90 lakh tons. Out of this, BPC imports 65-70 lakh tonnes. Apart from this, private power plants need furnace oil for their own needs by importing

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