Myanmar considers direct imports, new infrastructure to lower domestic fuel costs

The Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI) and Myanmar Petroleum Trade Association (MPTA) have suggested that Myanmar directly import fuel oil from oil exporting countries in Asia.

The move took place during a meeting with U Win Khine, Minister of the Ministry of Electricity and Energy (MOEE) at the UMFCCI office on Saturday.

Myanmar currently imports 600,000 tonnes of oil per month. The imports are mainly from Singapore, which, in turn, buys from India, China, South Korea and Japan, according to the MPTA.

To reduce the price of fuel for the locals, industry leaders reckon Myanmar should bypass Singapore and buy fuel oil directly from the oil exporting countries, which would save the country $20 per tonne of fuel.

That translates to total savings of $12 million per month, according to the MPTA’s calculations, which has been submitted to the MOEE.

The problem is infrastructure. Myanmar is currently only able to receive 20,000 tonnes of fuel oil per shipment, given its existing infrastructure.

To import directly from India, China, South Korea and Japan, Myanmar will need terminal facilities able to handle shipments of at least 50,000 tonnes-100,000 tonnes.

This will involve dredging works at the Yangon River so that larger ships are able to berth at the Yangon Port or building a larger terminal by the sea, the MPTA said.

Either way, the moves will help Myanmar reduce the price of fuel oil for domestic users over the long term, U Win Myint, Secretary of MPTA, said.

To make fuel oil more affordable for consumers, the Myanmar Investment Commission last year permitted Puma Energy Company, which is owned by Singapore-based Trafigura and the Angolan Sonangol Group, as well as Shell Company in partnership with Myanmar-based Max Energy, to sell fuel oil locally.

As at February 22, the retail price of diesel was K810-K822 per liter, while the price per liter of 92ron and 95ron fuel was K780 and K835, respectively.

Source: Myanmar Times

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