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6 May, 2019 01:04:59 AM
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Govt plans to import more LNG to meet gas demand

STAFF REPORTER, Dhaka
Govt plans to import more LNG to meet gas demand

The government is planning to import more liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the global market.

During the recent state visit of Prime Minister Sheik Hasina in Brunai from April 21-23, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed for LNG supply from the country. The State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid, and Brunei's energy, Manpower and Industry Minister Dr Awang Haji Mat Suny inked the MoU.

Later, a joint statement stated: “Given the growing demand for energy in Bangladesh to support rapid economic growth, both sides agreed to explore the possibility of comprehensive collaboration in the energy sector, via a government-to-government (G2G) arrangement, including LNG supply to Bangladesh."

Meanwhile, AOT Energy, a globally recognised oil and gas supply company, is on the pipeline and presently waiting for the Bangladesh government’s final ratification. To ensure uninterrupted supply of LNG in future, the government earlier agreed to make a deal with AOT Energy of Switzerland for 15 years.

AOT and Petrobangla signed a MoU in June 2017. After successfully completing all process and procedures, the matter is now pending with the energy ministry. It will be sent to the Purchase Committee of the Cabinet for final approval.

Once approved, AOT Energy will supply 1.25 metric tonnes of LNG for 15 years to minimise the acute natural gas crisis in the country. Considering the necessity of bringing a cost-efficient, flexible and timely solution to the country’s energy requirements, AOT offered USD 12.00 per unit, while the country is presently paying 12.65 USD per unit to RasGas, Qatar. Bangladesh started getting LNG from RasGas, Qatar, since last year.

The Independent came to know that AOT recently sent a letter to the prime minister’s private industry and investment adviser Salman F Rahman for undertaking further steps to begin competitive LNG supplies to Bangladesh. In the letter, AOT appreciated the role of Bangladesh in concluding the LNG supply agreement with Petrobangla.

The letter was also copied to the top decision-makers, including foreign minister Dr AK Abdul Momen, principal secretary Md Nojibur Rahman, principal SDG coordinator Abul Kalam Azad and Switzerland ambassador in Bangladesh René Holenstein.

In the letter, James O’Brien, global head of AOT Energy Group (LNG), said AOT can meet the gas import demand of Bangladesh. Apart from that, the AOT offers to provide benefits through profit sharing, cost savings and knowledge transfer to Bangladeshi citizens.

As a brief background, AOT Energy Group is a global energy company since 1947. Over the years, AOT Energy has developed into a significant player in the global oil and gas markets with multi-billion dollar revenues and significant operations including production, transportation and storage assets. The company also has significant experience in the implementation and supply of key energy infrastructure around. The main offices of the company are located in Belgium, Poland, Switzerland, Indonesia, Singapore, Canada and the US.

In Bangladesh, AOT Energy has been actively promoting the use of LNG since the very first discussions took place about setting up an LNG import terminal in the country over nine years ago.

Earlier, the government had plans to import about 2,000 mmcfd of LNG by installing four separate floating storage and re-gasification units (FSRU) by the year 2020 and to import LNG at a cost of USD 2 billion to mitigate the gas crisis in the country.

As part of this plan, Petrobangla and AOT Energy inked a deal on June 2017—it is the MoU signed between AOT and Petrobangla. Upon the agreement, an inter-organisational delegation visited the AOT headquarters and their industrial sites to learn about its experience and capacities.

The delegation comprising EMRD, Petrobangla, PMO, NBR and law ministry officials went to Switzerland in March 2018 and submitted a positive report upon their return. Finally, on December last year, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) director wrote to AOT, appreciating its efforts and interest in importing LNG from the company.

Energy ministry sources said the offer is now to be sent to the Purchase Committee of the Cabinet for final approval.

Bangladesh needs to import more LNG from abroad to consider the gas requirement for higher industrial production. In this ground, LNG imports from AOT would be profitable and help strengthen bilateral trade between Bangladesh and Switzerland.

They urged the government for settling the matter immediately to resolve the gas crisis in the country.

EA

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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