China to build floating oil terminal for Bangladesh

The government is set to sign a contract with a Chinese company next month to establish the country’s first floating terminal in the Bay of Bengal to unload imported fuel oil, officials said yesterday.

bangladesh-and-china-flagEnergy division officials said a state-owned Chinese company is to obtain the work order from the Bangladesh government to install the floating terminal – single point mooring (SPM) – in the sea near Maheshkhali Island.

The energy division requested the planning commission (PC) last week to approve the project worth 55.06bn taka

State minister for power, energy and mineral resources Nasrul Hamid wrote a letter to planning minister AHM Mustafa Kamal to approve the project urgently, said a senior energy division official.

“The Chinese PM is to visit Bangladesh sometime in September. During his visit, an agreement for building of the SPM is likely to be signed. So we need approval of the project before his visit to Dhaka,” the official told newsmen.

China would bankroll the SPM project, to be utilised to unload crude and refined fuel oil from vessels in the Bay of Bengal, he said.

The floating oil handling terminal installation projects had suffered a blow previously due to a funding crisis as the government failed to mobilise external resources.

Earlier, state-backed Eastern Refinery Limited (ERL) under the Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) in May 2010 undertook the SPM terminal installation project at $129mn cost to check pilferage and make handling of imported petroleum more efficient.

-GUlf  Times