Bangladesh aims to halt 95-octane gasoline imports by 2016

DHAKA, April 1 Mon Apr 1, 2013 3:41pm IST

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DHAKA, April 1 (Reuters) - Bangladesh expects to stop importing 95-octane gasoline by 2016, saving $200 million annually, a senior energy official said on Monday.

"We are working on a plan to become self-sufficient in octane in four years by enhancing annual production at Rashidpur Condensate Fractionation Plant (RCFP) to 120,000 tonnes," said Muhammad Hussain Monsur, Chairman of the Bangladesh Oil, Gas and Mineral Corporation, or Petrobangla.

"That is good enough to meet the entire domestic annual need for octane," he told Reuters. "It will save $200 million as we will no longer buy octane from abroad." RCFP is a subsidiary of Petrobangla.

Bangladesh currently imports about 90,000 tonnes a year of 95-octane gasoline. It buys refined oil products from several state-owned oil companies including Malaysia's Petronas , PetroChina, Philippines National Oil Company (PNOC), Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC), Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC), Egypt's Middle East Oil Refinery and Vietnam's Petrolimex.

"We have already taken up a project to refine additional condensate produced by the RCFP," Monsur said. RCFP currently produces 36,000 tonnes of octane for fuel-run motor vehicles, 43,200 tonnes of petrol, 36,000 tonnes of kerosene and 43,200 tonnes of diesel.

Monsur said that after the completion of the RCFP expansion in 2016 at a cost of 1.60 billion taka ($20 million) it would use the condensate from Bibiyana gas filed which is run by U.S energy firm Chevron. ($1= 78.00 taka) (Reporting By Serajul Quadir; Editing by Anis Ahmed and Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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