Customers in the Chittagong region may be supplied the LNG when the commissioning is done formally, possibly in a day or two
The country is set to enter a new era in the energy sector, with consumers in Chittagong expected to get their first ever supply of liquefied natural gas (LNG) through the national grid in a day or two.
The commissioning of the LNG, after re-gasification, started on a test-run basis on August 12, only to check if the installed gas pipelines have any leaks or if there are any other technical issues, said an official at the LNG Cell of Petrobangla.
“Customers in the Chittagong region may be supplied the LNG when the commissioning is done formally, possibly in a day or two,” he said, seeking anonymity.
Sources at Bangladesh Oil, Gas and Mineral Corporation, commonly known as Petrobangla, confirmed the development to the Dhaka Tribune on Thursday.
The LNG Cell official said: “Initially, there will be around 70 mmcfd gas supply and the volume of gas will be increased gradually.”
But, during the public hearing on the proposed gas price hike on June 26, the RPGCL chief said LNG will be added to the national grid at a rate of 350 mmmcfd soon after it joins the national grid.
He also added that the amount of gas supplied will be raised to 500 mmcfd in due time.
According to him, the commissioning underway on a trial basis is for safety purposes for both the authorities concerned, and consumers.
When contacted, Petrobangla Chairman Abul Mansur Md Faizullah, however, declined to make any comments on the matter.
Gas Distribution Company Limited, which is assigned to take care of the maintenance of installed pipelines, posted on August 13 on its official Facebook page, concerning the test-run of re-gasified LNG commissioning.
Rupantarita Prakritik Gas Company Limited (RPGCL) Managing Director, Md Qamruzzaman, also hinted at a similar development on his Facebook account.
The maiden consignment of LNG reached Moheshkhali, Cox’s Bazar, from Qatar on April 24. But technical glitches and rough seas 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 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 super chilled fuel item after re-gasification, is injected from the FSRU, also called an LNG terminal, the first of its kind in Bangladesh, to the 91-km pipeline linked to the national network in Anwara upazila of Chittagong.
Though the next consignment was expected in mid-June on a separate LNG vessel, Petrobangla deferred it owing to the delay in commissioning of the maiden shipment of LNG in late April, 2018.
Petrobangla and Rasgas inked the LNG deal on September 25, 2017, after the state-owned energy provider signed a terminal-use agreement with Excelerate Energy to set up the country’s first LNG terminal on Mar 31, 2016.
So far, local Summit Group and US-based Excelerate Energy have been allowed to set up two separate FSRUs near Moheshkhali to store the imported LNG and then supply it to the national grid following re-gasification.
Bangladesh currently faces a shortage of 1 billion cubic feet of gas a day (bcfd), where demand is around 3.7 bcfd. The average daily production of gas in 2009 was nearly 1,750 million cubic feet a day (mmcfd).
Considering the overall situation, the government signed the deal with Qatar to import 2.8 million tons of LNG to be delivered annually for the next 15 years. It is also set to import LNG from Oman under a 10-year deal.