State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid said uninterrupted supply of fuel oil for agricultural irrigation will be ensured. He said this in an inter-ministerial meeting online on Sunday.
At that time, the state minister said, ‘Agriculture cannot be disrupted for electricity or fuel oil. Ensuring proper security, the initiative to reach fuel oil in the respective districts as required should be continued.’
December to May is generally considered as the agricultural irrigation season. According to the Ministry of Energy, a total of 19 lakh 29 thousand 738 metric tons of diesel was used for agricultural irrigation in the last financial year 2022-23. At that time, 67.19 percent of the fuel used in agricultural irrigation was diesel. Also 11.99 percent furnace oil, 6.42 percent ZA-1, 6.19 percent gasoline and 5.36 percent octane.
The transportation sector accounted for 58 percent of the fuel oil used in the last financial year. Out of this, 18% is used in electricity, 15% in agriculture, 6% in industry, 1% in household and 2% in other sectors.
Nasrul Hamid said, ‘Electricity should be produced in coordination with the demand. According to the demand of the Power Development Board, initiatives should be taken in advance to supply natural gas and furnace oil.
The inter-ministerial meeting discussed about diesel buffer stock, confirmation of tank-wagons or rail racks for oil supply, preservation of navigability of waterways, prevention of oil smuggling and renovation of roads related to waterways, prevention of oil smuggling at borders, ensuring security in energy installations, monitoring and coordination.
A central control cell has been opened at the head office of Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) since December 1 to closely monitor the supply of diesel to the farmers in the remote areas of the country at the right time at the price fixed by the government during the agricultural irrigation season.
The Ministry says that until the end of the irrigation season, efforts will continue to conserve 1 lakh 50 thousand metric tons of diesel in Chittagong. The estimated demand of diesel during the agricultural irrigation season in the current financial year 2023-24 is 12 lakh 50 thousand 355 metric tons. At the same time, the estimated demand of lube oil is 44 thousand 123 metric tons.