The government has suspended the import of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from volatile spot markets for an indefinite period.
Energy and Mineral Resources Division (EMRD) senior secretary Md Anisur Rahman on Monday disclosed the move at a virtual seminar titled “Energy Security: Modern Context, Challenges & Way Forward” marking the National Energy Security Day.
Anisur Rahman said the government has procured 11.8 lakh MMBtu of LNG from the international market since September 2018. The import cost of LNG ranged between $8 and $9 per unit whereas the local gas cost only $2.5-$3, he informed. “So, the government provided Tk 63.12 billion subsidies for LNG import from 2018 to 2021,” he said.
In mid-July 2021, the government has allowed importing 33.60 lakh MMBtu of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the international spot market.
State-owned Petrobangla will procure the bulk LNG from AOT Trading AG, Switzerland at a cost of Tk 4.36 billion. Each unit’s price will stand at $13.069. The energy secretary said the government has no plan to purchase any more LNG from the spot market as the price crossed $15 per MMBtu.
“We will procure LNG under long-term agreements due to volatile spot markets,” he said.
Begum Waseqa Ayesha Khan, chairman of the parliamentary standing committee on power and energy, said ensuring sustainable energy supply at affordable prices remains a challenge. She also stressed the need for checking pilferage in energy budget allocation. The country will face a major crisis in the next 3-4 years due to depleting natural gas reserves in local fields, Prof M Tamim said.