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Bangladesh enters the LNG era

  • Published at 09:34 pm August 20th, 2018
Gas Stove
File photo of a gas burner Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

The country received a supply of regasified super-chilled fuel item, for the first time in history.

After missing several deadlines to start injecting liquefied natural gas (LNG) into the national grid, the country received a supply of regasified super-chilled fuel item, for the first time in history.

The energy sector of Bangladesh witnessed this achievement, as consumers in the Chittagong region started getting LNG from around 2:30pm on Saturday.

Karnaphuli Gas Distribution Company Limited (KGDCL) Managing Director Khaiz Ahmed Mozumder confirmed the development on Sunday.

“The supply of LNG started for all our consumers around 2:30pm on Saturday,” he said, adding that around 75 million cubic feet gas a day (mmcfd) is being pumped through the KGDCL network.

The development took place just five days after LNG was commissioned and after re-gasification started on a test-run basis.

Rupantarita Prakritik Gas Company Limited (RPGCL) on Saturday afternoon also posted the development on its Facebook page.

The decision to start the supply of LNG was finalized in a meeting in Chittagong on Friday. Energy Secretary Abu Hena Md Rahmatul Muneem chaired the meeting.

It was attended, among others, by Bangladesh Oil, Gas and Mineral Corporation (Petrobangla) Chairman Abul Mansur Md Faizullah and higher officials of the KGDCL, Gas Transmission Company Limited (GTCL) and RPGCL.

Md Qamruzzaman, managing director of RPGCL, a Petrobangla  subsidiary, which has been in charge of handling LNG-related activities, could not be reached despite repeated attempts for his comments over increasing the amount of LNG.

Earlier, during the mass hearing on proposed gas price hike on June 26, the RPGCL chief said LNG will be added to the national grid at a rate of 350 mmcfd from the beginning.

He then remarked that it would be raised to 500 mmcfd after a while.  

On Thursday, an official at the LNG Cell of Petrobangla, said: “The volume of the re-gasified super-chilled fuel item will be increased gradually, based on demand notes and reserve inventory.”

The maiden consignment of LNG reached Moheshkhali, Cox's Bazar from Qatar on April 24. But technical glitches and inclement weather caused repeated delays in LNG commissioning.   

The Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (FSRU), owned by US-based Excelerate Energy Bangladesh Ltd, carried 133,000 cubic meters (CM) of lean LNG.

The delivery came in line with a sales and purchase agreement, inked on September 25, 2017, with Qatar’s state-owned energy company, RasGas, for 2.5 million tons per year of LNG, priced at 12.5% of the three-month average of Brent, plus an additional $0.5 per unit (1 MMBTU).

The LNG, after being re-gasified, is injected from the FSRU, also called an LNG terminal- the first of its kind in Bangladesh- to the 91km pipeline linked to the national network in Anwara upazila of Chittagong.

Though the next consignment was expected to arrive in mid-June on a separate LNG vessel, Petrobangla deferred it owing to the delay in commissioning of the maiden shipment of LNG.

Bangladesh currently faces a shortage of 1 billion cubic feet gas a day (bcfd), while the demand is around 3.7 bcfd. Considering the overall situation, the government signed the deal with Qatar to import 2.8 million tons of LNG annually for the next 15 years.