By Ruma Paul
DHAKA, Nov 1 (Reuters) - Bangladesh Petroleum Corp (BPC) issued an international tender on Wednesday to import refined oil products for the first half of 2018, officials said.
The state-owned company is seeking 780,000 to 980,000 tonnes of 500ppm sulphur gasoil, 100,000 tonnes of jet fuel, 120,000 to 160,000 tonnes of 180-cst high sulphur fuel oil and 30,000 tonnes of 95-octane gasoline.
The tender closes on Nov. 13 and is valid for 75 days to Jan. 26, 2018.
Delivery will be carried out in phases over the first half of 2018, a senior BPC official said.
Some volumes will also be imported through separate term deals, he told Reuters, without giving details.
BPC resumed issuing tenders for long-term contracts in February 2016 after a 15-year hiatus, during which it negotiated directly with suppliers of fuel products.
It wants to move away from direct deals as part of efforts to buy at cheaper rates through international tenders.
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 around 3.2 million tonnes of diesel and 2.5 million tonnes of fuel oil annually, making it one of the top 10 such importers in the region.
Its imports are likely to boost benchmark gasoil cash differentials further. They rose to multi-year highs in September. GO005-SIN-DIF
Currently, BPC has term contracts with 11 companies for refined oil product imports.
Suppliers for Bangladesh’s middle distillates contracts include Kuwait Petroleum Corp, Malaysia’s Petronas, Emirates National Oil Company, Philippines National Oil Company, Vietnam’s Petrolimex, Indonesia’s Bumi Siak Pusako and PetroChina.
Bangladesh has also sign a 15-year deal with India’s Numaligarh refinery to supply diesel, its first long-term contract with any Indian supplier.
BPC annually also buys 600,000 tonnes of Murban crude from Abu Dhabi National Oil Co and another 600,000 tonnes of Arab Light from Saudi Aramco for its only refinery.
Bangladesh, with more than 160 million people, also plans to tap currently cheap and plentiful global liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplies to fill a domestic supply shortfall. (Reporting by Ruma Paul, additional reporting by Jessica Jaganathan in Singapore; editing by Jason Neely)