Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – The cabinet committee on purchase on Sunday approved import of 904000 tonnes of petroleum products at a cost of BDT 66.07 billion from three countries on state-to-state arrangements.

Of the total 904000 tonnes of petroleum to be imported this time, 105000 tonnes will be bought from the Philippines, 605000 tonnes from Malaysia and 104000 tonnes from Singapore. Of the amount, 767000 tonnes are diesel and furnace oil.

The committee in a meeting chaired by Finance Minister AMA Muhith also approved setting up of three power plants and import of wheat.

The total demand for petroleum products has been estimated at 3.196 million tonnes — of which about 2.715 million tonnes are diesel and furnace oil — in the first six months of the current fiscal year, The Daily Star, a local newspaper, reported quoting energy ministry officials.

Price hike of petroleum products on the global market, rising shipping charges and instability in the oil producing countries are pushing up the government expenditure on “premium”.

The committee also gave a go-ahead to two proposals for setting up two 300-MW coal-fired power plants in Chittagong and Khulna.

Besides, another quick rental power plant with a 52-MW generation capacity will be set up in Comilla. The power division has recommended awarding the job to Sri Lanka-based Lakdhanavi Limited as the lowest bidder.

The committee also approved import of 50,000 tonnes of wheat through private importer, the newspaper added.

BBN/SSR/AD-22Aug11-12:32 pm (BST)