BPC slaps ban on substandard fuel

Special Correspondent

15 July, 2020 12:00 AM printer

BPC slaps ban on substandard fuel

Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) has slapped a ban on entry of substandard petroleum products from most of the private suppliers into the market, a BPC top official has said.

“We are not compromising with the quality of petroleum products. So, the government has suspended supply of condensate, a raw material of fuel, to 12 private condensate fractionation plants,” BPC Chairman Shamsur Rahman told the daily sun.  

He said BPC has tested octane and petrol supplied from different private plants before suspension of the supply of raw materials to the private fractionation plants.

“The octane should contain more than 95 percent octane molecules or Research Octane Number (RON) and it should be 87 percent for petrol to ensure their maximum quality,” the BPC chairman said. 

But the 12 private fractionation plants supply petrol with below 87 percent RON, which is dangerous for automobiles, he pointed out.

Official sources say only two private plants installed catalytic reformer unit (CRU) to get best output of octane and petrol as per BSTI requirement.

Besides, the rest of 12 plants failed to install the CRU. They have installed only batch type processing unit (BTPC) plant which failed to maintain the BSTI standard fuels.    

So, BPC stopped collecting petrol and octane from a dozen of private firms, the top official said.

He added the ministry has decided not to collect substandard fuels from the plants.  

Besides, Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI) has directed the fuel companies for ensuring quality fuel and getting certification marks (CM) licence from BSTI as the authorities have found some low quality fuel products, according to him.

In a letter to BPC, BSTI said it found low quality in some fuel samples of the state-owned companies like Padma Oil Company, Meghna Petroleum Ltd after conducting tests.

High Court has an instruction for ensuring quality of petroleum products. Sale and distribution of substandard fuel oil is also a punishable offence according to BSTI ACT 2018.  High-speed diesel, unloaded motor gasoline-premium (octane) and unloaded motor gasoline regular (petrol), and internal combustion engine crankcase oils (diesel or gasoline) are categorised as petroleum products.

Petroleum fuel products must obtain a licence as per the government’s SRO issued in favor of 181 petroleum products.

Besides, the Petrol Pump Owner’s Association has urged the Ministry of Power, Energy and Minerals Resources (MPEMR) to ensure quality petrol distribution through a letter on February 17, 2020.

In the letter, Bangladesh Petrol Pump Owner’s Association’s President, Syed Sajjadul Karim Kabul shared that they are facing questions from general public regarding the quality of petrol.

He also added that if we are unable to provide quality petrol to the consumers, we might have to stop selling and buying petrol.

Substandard and adulterated petrol and octane are continuously selling at filling stations across the country, causing a double menace of damage to automobile engines and environmental pollution from excessive carbon emissions.