Bangladesh Shipping Corporation (BSC) is planning to buy two mother tankers to include those in its fleet to carry crude oil for Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC).
To start the procedure, BSC on Thursday signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Chinese company 'China Petroleum Technology and Development Corporation (CPTDC)'.
Managing Director of BSC Commodore M Habibur Rahman Bhuiyan and Vice-President of CPTDC Fan Shihong singed the MoU. Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan and Secretary Ashoke Madhab Roy also attended the programme.
According to the Ministry, the mother tankers will have the capacity of carrying 1 lakh to 1.25 lakh tonnes of crude oil. Those will work for carrying the BPC-imported crude oil from Chittagong port.
Each of the tankers, being bought under the government-to-government (G2G) process, will cost around US$50 million. But, the actual price will be fixed in the joint meeting of experts.
At the deal signing ceremony, Shajahan Khan said the MoU will not create any compulsion on buying the vessels from the country or the company. It will only ensure the way of discussion. BSC will buy the vessels from them only after settlement of the price under a consensus.
Though the BSC started its journey with a fleet of 38 vessels in 1972, it has only 5 functional vessels at present. The government has taken a step to make the state-owned company profitable by providing new investment.
The government has already completed construction of the multi-storied building of the BSC on its own land in Motijheel area. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is expected to inaugurate the building by next July, the Shipping Minister added.