Petrobangla, the state-run oil, gas and mineral resources corporation, on Tuesday signed another non-binding memorandum of understanding (MoU) with trading agency Gunvor Singapore Pte Ltd to procure liquefied natural gas (LNG).
The MoU was signed at a function at Petro Center in Dhaka.
Petrobangla Secretary Syed Ashfaquzzaman and Speeleveled, Head of LNG-BD Asia of Gunvor Singapore PTE Ltd, signed the MoU on behalf of their respective sides.
With this, Petrobangla tied up with five companies to facilitate LNG imports. Bangladesh signed its first MoU to import LNG with Qatar in 2011, then this year did MoUs with Switzerland-based AOT Energy on June 13, Oman Trading International of Oman in early September and Pertamina of Indonesia on September 15.
About the MoU, State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid, who was present at the signing ceremony as the chief guest, said the government would ensure energy security by supplying primary fuel continuously.
"Mixed gas will be supplied to the industries by mixing LNG with natural gas that would lead to slight price hike but would be more profitable for the businessmen," he said.
He said the gas crisis in the country would be reduced from April next year.
Besides long-term agreements with different state-owned enterprises, the government would also explore spot markets and invite tenders for mid-to-long-term contracts to import LNG.
Petrobangla and Gunvor will prepare document for commercial agreement later.
Besides, 41 companies expressed their interest for LNG purchase from spot market and the Masters Sales Procurement Agreements (MSPA) would be signed after preparing the panel, said Nasrul.
He said in the first phase, 500 mmcfd LNG will be used in Chittagong region from April 2018, while 500 mmcfd LNG would be supplied for the middle part of the country from October 2018 in the second phase.
Petrobangla now supplies approximately 2,750 million cubic feet per day against a demand for more than 3,700 mmcfd gas leading to interruption on power generation and industrial productions.
Among others, Secretary of Energy and Mineral Resources Division Nazimuddin Chowdhury and Petrobangla chairman Abul Mansur Md Fayzullah spoke at the function.