DHAKA/SINGAPORE, May 26 (Reuters) - Energy traders Unipec and Vitol placed the lowest offers in a tender by Bangladesh Petroleum Corp to buy nearly 1.35 million tonnes of oil products in the second half of 2019, sources said on Sunday.
The state-owned company is seeking 940,000 tonnes to 1.12 million tonnes of gasoil with a sulphur content of 500 parts-per-million (ppm), 110,000 tonnes of jet fuel, 60,000 tonnes to 100,000 tonnes of 180-centistoke high sulphur fuel oil and 15,000 tonnes of 95-octane gasoline.
A total of six traders competed for the tender, said two BPC officials and traders.
China’s Unipec - trading arm of Chinese state major Sinopec - placed the lowest offer for the gasoil and jet fuel cargoes at premiums to Middle East quotes of $2.66 and $3.66 a barrel respectively, they said.
“Unipec is likely to secure the tender for both gasoil and jet fuel as the company came up with the best offers,” said one of the BPC officials who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The Asian unit of trading house Vitol submitted the lowest offers at premiums of $4.10 a barrel to Middle East quotes for gasoline and fuel oil at $24.88 a tonne to Singapore spot quotes.
Vitol was supposed to secure the tender for fuel oil and gasoline as the trader’s offers are the lowest, the official added.
The deals with Unipec and Vitol will be finalised within a short time after verifying all other details, the BPC officials said.
The tender closed on May 16 and is valid up to Sept. 2.
BPC resumed issuing tenders for long-term contracts in 2016 as part of efforts to buy at cheaper rates after a 15-year hiatus, during which it negotiated directly with suppliers of fuel products.
A shortfall in supplies of natural gas has forced the South Asian country to burn oil, a costlier option, to generate electricity.
Bangladesh typically imports about 3.2 million tonnes of diesel and 2.5 million tonnes of fuel oil annually, making it one of the top 10 importers for those fuels in Asia.
Bangladesh’s second liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal has started to feed gas to the national grid since late last month.
About 3.75 million tonnes a year of LNG are expected to be imported through the facility, doubling the country’s LNG import capacity to 7.5 million tonnes per year once fully operational. (Additional reporting by Jessica Jaganathan in SINGAPORE Editing by Shri Navaratnam)