Conversion of petrol to octane
Golam Mostafa Jibon:The project for conversion of petrol to octane, which was taken at a cost of Tk 152 crore with a completion deadline for three years, has yet been completed even after passing nine years. But, it is matter of surprising that the expenditure has grown by leaps and bounds to around Tk 500 crore from Tk 150 crore in the last years without predicted progress.
In addition to increasing the cost of the project in several phases, the time has also been increased. The latest expenditure for the implementation of the project has been set at around Tk 497.98 crore. Though, the last deadline of the project expired in June, the work of the project has not completed so far.
Such dire state was found at the project titled ‘Establishment of Catalytic Reforming Unit (CRU) at Rashidpur with a capacity of 3,000 barrels per day (Second Amendment) for conversion of petrol to octane’. The information has come to light through a recent meeting of the steering committee of the project. Anisur Rahman, Senior Secretary of the Department of Energy and Mineral Resources said, “The project was approved for implementation from March 2012 to 2015 at an estimated cost of Tk 152 crore. Subsequently, the first revised DPP (Development Project Proposal) of the project was approved for implementation from March 2012 to 2017 at an estimated cost of Tk 354.13 crore. After that, the second revised DPP was approved for implementation from March 2012 to June 2019 at an estimated cost of Tk 497.98 crore. Later, on excuse of different necessities, the project deadline was extended in two phases till June 2021 without any increase of cost. He further said, the objective
of the project was to produce octane and LPG through the catalytic reforming unit of petrol produced from the 3,750 barrel daily condensate fractionation plant at Rashidpur and the 4,000 barrel daily condensate fractionation plant.
While asked about the implementation progress of the project, the project director said, the cumulative financial progress of the project till May 2021 is Tk 410.73 crore, which is 82.3 percent of the total project cost. Some 99.8 percent of the construction work has been completed. Pond beautification and little gravelling work have remained incomplete so far in the plant area. Some 99.9 percent of the goods procurement has been completed. Some spare parts import process is ongoing. The plant’s pipe fit-up, pipe welding, radiography, post weld heat treatment, equipment erection and steel structure construction, construction of 2 LPG tanks, hydrotest, box up restoration and testing works have mostly been completed.
Asked about the progress of the plant operation, the project director said that the exporters of Licensed Exchange France have been on site since February 4 this year and provided the punch list through the plant supervisor. After resolving the punch list, the technical exporters of Exchange France came to the site again and started commissioning EPC contracting from March 18 this year. The reactor dry-out ended on March 24 and the catalyst loading and leak test ended on March 27.
“In the approved DPP, the exchange rate with the dollar was estimated at Tk 79 in foreign exchange. At present, the exchange rate of money with the dollar is about Tk 85. As per the agreement, the contractor will be paid an additional Tk 21.57 crore in foreign currency due to the increase in the exchange rate,” he added.
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