The market is apparently flooded with substandard lubricants under various brand names. Even some importers are directly selling recycled engine oil and recycled base oil. We know that the market is overwhelmed with more than 100 brands.
Market Insiders considered this trade as an uncontrolled market in comparison to another segment.
Additionally, about 26 companies have got permission for the lubricants blending plants, where around 18 plants are in the operation.
The prevailing blending plants are committed to using virgin base oil as raw material for their production.
According to the Bangladesh Lube Blenders Association, the annual demand for lube oil is about 1,60,000 tones. Besides, under the public and private sector, the production capacity of 18 lube plants is about 2,00,000 tones.
However, due to lower prices of ground oils, compared to the virgin base oil, few unscrupulous blenders and importers are encouraged to import it at the private level.
But the National Board of Revenue (NBR) has brought a risky declaration in the national budget for the fiscal year 2018-19 allowed the import of the items through inclusion of two separate HS (harmonized system) Codes for them. However, in later, the energy division banned that announcement of that import.
But, the recycled base oil is damaging for the lifetime of the vehicle engine and other industrial mercenaries. Only for the low prices, these least quality lubricants have been swayed by the market.
Mechanical experts say that there is limited scope for the customers to know about the quality of lubricants. Again, the use of recycled base oil for blending purposes is not fit for the valuable machinery of the vehicles and industrial plants.
It also increases the user’s maintenance cost. Simultaneously, due to the use of these lower-substandard lubricants, a huge amount of investment in the machinery and equipment is being wasted. It is also a threat to the environment and public health.
According to the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA), there are more than 32 lakh petrol and diesel-powered cars in the country.
Around 45 lakh units of small-medium and large-scale industrial units are coming to the country. Besides, different-scale machinery is being made locally. To keep these instruments active, the use of virgin base oil is necessary.
So, it is necessary to stop the trade of recycled base oil as well as the engine oil to protect the domestic blending plants as well as to keep the lifespan of vehicles and factories.