Bangladesh entered the era of imported LNG on Tuesday when the maiden consignment of LNG reached Maheshkhali,1.7 nautical miles near Cox’s Bazar-- in the Bay of Bengal, from Qatar.
“Despite the entrance of the LNG ship into Bangladesh territory in the Bay, we will require at least three weeks for commissioning of the LNG supply,” said Md Quamruzzaman, managing director of Rupantarita Prakritik Gas Company Ltd (RPGCL).
He said the time will be required for plugging, pre-commissioning and other activities with floating storage and re-gasification unit (FSRU).
The LNG carrier with 0.65 million tonnes of LNG reached the shore, he said.
“We are hopeful that the imported LNG will meet two-week demand in Chittagong,” he said.
Sources at Petrobangla said the government will supply 100mmcfd of gas in the first phase after the LNG import. The supply will increase gradually.
Karnaphuli Gas Distribution Company Ltd will distribute most of the imported LNG gas in Chittagong before the completion of dual gas line for LNG supply next June.
“We will require at least 60 LNG consignments annually to supply 500mmcfd of imported gas daily,” an official concerned said.
He said the government will import 3.75 million metric tons of LNG a year.
Businesses in Chittagong are happy over the import of LNG as the production at many gas-fired factories remains halt due to gas crisis.
The government will resume industrial gas connections in Chittagong considering LNG import. Now, the demand of gas is 250mmcfd in Chittagong, officials said.
Meanwhile, the government is planning to raise gas tariff once again to cope with the costly import of liquefied natural gas.
LNG is currently selling at Tk 13.52 per cubic meter on the international market whereas locally produced natural gas costs Tk 7.35 per cubic meter.
The government will need around Tk 14,000-Tk 15,000 crore for importing 1000mmcfd of LNG in the current fiscal. The cost will be doubled after the government starts importing LNG import through Indian Reliance and Petronet from 2021.