POST TIME: 18 August, 2018 12:40:43 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 18 August, 2018 10:53:40 AM
Commercial LNG supply to begin today

Commercial LNG supply to begin today

Commercial supply of liquefied natural gas (LNG) will begin today (Saturday), as the new gridline has got the standard pressure to feed gas to the distribution company. The Karnaphuli Gas Distribution Company Limited (KGDCL), the Chattogram-based gas distribution company, will receive gas to meet the local demand. But for now, only Chattogram will get the LNG, because the main gridlines, connected to the national gridline, is facing problems to cross the Karnaphuli river, sources told The Independent. The decision was taken at a meeting in Chattogram yesterday (Friday). Abu Hena Md Rahmatul Muneem, secretary of the Energy Division, chaired the meeting. Petrobangla chairman, Abul Mansur Md Faizullah, and senior officials of the KGDCL, Gas Transmission Company Limited (GTCL) and Rupantorita Prakitik Gas Company Limited (RPGCL) were present at the meeting.

Bangladesh entered a new era in the energy sector when it received its first consignment of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the gridline last Sunday. Petrobangla chairman, Abul Mansur Md Faizullah, told The Independent that after missing several deadlines, the first consignment of LNG was finally shipped to the gridline on Sunday. “This, was, however done on a test basis. After we conduct some tests, commercial operations with the shipped LNG will begin,” he said.

Sources said the 40-inch Moheskhal-Anowara transmission line seems to be ready as the pile is withstanding 1,000 PSI pressure it needs to supply to the distribution line.

“The LNG supply to the grid has been stopped now. It will be pumped again on Saturday and for a few days, we will supply 100MMCF per day on a test basis” said a government official involved in the project.

A GTRC official said the Anowara-Faujdarhat gridline is not yet ready. It will be connected to the national gridline connected to the Chattogram-Dhaka gridline. The river crossing part of the Anowara-Faujdarhat gridline under the Karnaphuli has not been successful so far .

“We have been facing a tough challenge to cross the Karnaphuli for the last three months, but hope to cross it within the next few days” said a GTCL official.

“In Chattogram, there is a huge demand for gas for fertiliser factories and power stations, like KAFCO, CUFL, Rawjan power plant and Sikolbaha power plant. This can be met by the LNG,” the government official said.

Chattogram gets gas from the national grid, particularly in the Sylhet region, and now the gas will be pumped to the capital city of Dhaka, sources said.     

The LNG consignment from the Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (FSRU), operated by Excelerate Energy Bangladesh Ltd, was supplied to the gridline in Chattogram’s Anwara from Maheshkhali, where the company, a subsidiary of the US-based Excelerate Energy, has built the first LNG terminal of the country.

An FSRU is a special type of ship used to store and degasify the LNG and supply it onshore. The FSRU in Bangladesh has a capacity to hold 1,38,000 cubic metres and distribute up to 500 million cubic feet per day, officials said.

Ships carrying LNG to Bangladesh will transfer the consignments to this FSRU, which will supply it to the terminal after regasification.

Earlier, the first consignment of LNG into the gridline was supposed to come in May, but the vessel had not been properly connected to the receiving pipeline. During an inspection of the facility, Excelerate discovered that the pipeline end manifold (PLEM) had not been connected properly to the gas grid’s main transmission pipeline. The pipeline connecting the Excellence FSRU to the shore is 7km long.

Any fault or error in connecting the PLEM to the main pipeline could cause serious accidents and long-term suspension of gas supplies, explained the official of Petrobangla. Petrobangla signed a terminal use agreement with Excelerate Energy Bangladesh Ltd to set up the country’s first LNG terminal on March 31, 2016. As per the agreement, the company was supposed to facilitate supplies of LNG to the shore. After the gridlines are okay, the government has a plan to supply 500MMCF per day to meet the demand.