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Bangladesh to move to cleaner diesel imports from 2015 - sources

DHAKA/SINGAPORE, Oct 15 (Reuters) - Bangladesh will lower the sulphur content of its gasoil imports from January next year, in line with a global move towards cleaner fuel, industry sources said on Wednesday.

The country will import gasoil with 500 parts-per-million (ppm) sulphur instead of the 2,500 ppm, from January, 2015, Bangladesh Petroleum Corp (BPC) Chairman Eunusur Rahman told Reuters.

The state-owned company, which is the country's sole importer of gasoil, will start term negotiations to buy gasoil for next year, in November, he said.

The move towards cleaner gasoil is expected to increase Bangladesh's import costs by about 50 cents a barrel, Rahman added.

This translates to about $11-$12 million for the 3-3.3 million tonnes of gasoil a year that the country imports to meet local demand.

Suppliers for Bangladesh's middle distillates contracts are Kuwait Petroleum Corp (KPC), Malaysia's Petronas, Emirates National Oil Co (ENOC), Philippines National Oil Co, Vietnam's Petrolimex, Indonesia's Bumi Siak Pusako, PetroChina and Unipec.

With many refineries adding secondary units to process heavy gasoil into cleaner diesel, Bangladesh's move will help to absorb excess low-sulphur oil products coming out of Middle East and Indian refineries, traders said.

"Not many refineries are producing high sulphur gasoil now, so it's a natural progression," a Singapore-based trader said.

Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Burundi and Rwanda are due to switch to the cleaner fuels from January 2015, while United Arab Emirates and Jordan switched to cleaner diesel earlier this year. (Reporting by Ruma Paul in Dhaka and Jessica Jaganathan in Singapore; Editing by Anand Basu)