Thursday, 27 January, 2022

LNG re-gasification capacity to be cut by 100mmcfd in winter

  • Special Correspondent
  • 1 December, 2021 12:00 AM
  • Print news

Bangladesh’s overall liquefied natural gas re-gasification capacity is going to shrink by 100mmcfd this winter as the mooring line of Summit Group’s FSRU gets torn.

The winter’s usual gas crisis is feared to further worsen due to the problem.

The FSRU (floating storage and re-gasification unit) will not be able to carry out ship to ship transfer of LNG until a fresh mooring line is built, said a senior Petrobangla official.

“One out of eight mooring lines tore down three to four days back. So we suspended transferring LNG to the Summit FSRU,” the official said.

He said the Summit already assigned a Chinese manufacturer to build a new mooring line by January 15, 2022.

“Our gas supply might be cut around by 100mmcfd during the winter. The demand of natural gas usually comes down in this period,” the official said.

He said, “The Petrobangla-owned FSRU is now supplying 560-570mmcfd of the imported LNG.”

It is being seen a major blow to the country’s natural gas supply. The energy ministry apologisedfor the issue. Fearing a supply crunch, the ministry urged the consumers to be conservative in gas use. The ministry issued a statement in this regard on Tuesday.

“Building a new mooring line, or repairing it before fixing it at the Summit’s FSRU will not be possible before January 15, 2022,”read the statement issued by the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources.

Thisis likely that the usual winter season’s gas crisis might worsen due to the problem, said different sources concerned.

Mooring line is a specialised cable that helps tying up FSRU with LNG carrying vessels for smooth ship to ship transfer of the fuel.

Summit’s 3.75 million tonne per year (Mtpa) capacity FSRU has around 49,000 cubic metres of lean LNG in its inventory as of November 29, 2021.

It will be totally inoperative with the re-gasification of the remaining LNG stored in its inventory and thereafter the country’s LNG re-gasification will rely only on Excelerate Energy’s FSRU. The operation halt of Summit’s FSRU might limit the country’s LNG import until January, officials feared.

A total of six LNG cargoes are already scheduled to arrive for re-gasification in Bangladesh from two long-term LNG suppliers – Qatargas and Oman Trading International, or OTI – in December.

Excelerate Energy’s FSRU will have to re-gasify all the six LNG cargoes to be imported next month (December), he said.

Petrobangla might have to cut LNG import cargoes in December if Excelerate fails to re-gasify the LNG cargoes, each having around 138,000 cubic metres of lean LNG, the official said.

The country’s decision to halt the import of LNG from international spot market might linger further with the capacity cut of LNG re-gasification.

Bangladesh has now kept the import of the gas from spot market on hold at least until December in view of the price surge and lower demand for natural gas during winter. Summit Group’s FSRU had initiated re-gasifying LNG on April 29, 2019 as the country’s second FSRU after Excelerate’s one doubling the country’s LNG consumption capacity to 1000 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd).

Summit was awarded the FSRU project under the Speedy Supply of Power and Energy (Special Provision) Act 2010.

The law has a provision of providing immunity to those involved with a quick-fix solution.

Excelerate Energy’s Excellence regasified around 533 mmcfd on the day before the start of Summit’s FSRU on April 28, 2019, according to Petrobangla.

The country's overall natural gas output currently is hovering around 2,970 mmcfd, of which around 590 mmcfd is re-gasified LNG and the remaining around 2,400 mmcfd of gas output comes from local gas fields as on November 29, 2021.