Seventeen firms are vying for the contract to conduct a feasibility study on building a new 7.50-million tonne per year capacity crude oil refinery near Payra seaport to meet mounting oil demand, officials said. These firms including French Technip, German ILF and Scottish Wood Mackenzie have submitted expression of interests (EoIs) to carry out the feasibility study and build the refinery along with other facilities there, they added.
"The evaluation has almost been completed. We will select seven firms from them and will request them to send final proposals soon," an official said. The Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) has planned to build a single-point mooring (SPM) system and jetty along with storage facility centring the refinery, he added. Currently, the BPC has only one oil refinery -- the Eastern Refinery Ltd (ERL) -- in Chittagong having a de-rated capacity to refine around 1.4 million tonnes of crude oil annually. It went into commercial operation in 1968 with 30 years' economic life.
BPC is also working to build a 3.0-million tonne per year capacity crude oil refinery near the existing unit in Chittagong. The state-run BPC inked a deal with French Technip to prepare the Front End Engineering Design (FEED) in January. It would pay Tk 2.57 billion (US$ 32.10 million) to Technip for the task and Technip would prepare the design and relevant documents by September 2017.
Indian firm Engineers India Limited (EIL) has been acting as the project management consultant (PMC) to implement the second unit of its wholly-owned subsidiary ERL, the official said.
To construct the planned refinery to be built near Payra seaport, several firms including China Huanqiu Contracting and Engineering Corporation have already shown interest, said a senior official of Energy and Mineral Resources Division (EMRD) under the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources (MPEMR). The Chinese firm also agreed to finance the refinery project and proposed installation of a strategic oil reservoir with a capacity of 500,000 tonnes, the official said.
Bangladesh currently imports around 5.50 million tonnes of crude and refined petroleum products combined every year to meet local demand. BPC has already bought land for the new Chittagong refinery from the Ministry of Industries for Tk 2.30 billion. The project might enable the country to process any kind of crude oil and might put Bangladesh on the path towards becoming a refined petroleum-exporting country, said the BPC official. Nepal has already shown interest to import refined petroleum products from Bangladesh and agreed to ink a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in this regard, he said. Surplus finished petroleum can also be exported to Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Myanmar and the north-eastern parts of India as well.