Petronet submits proposal to set up $1 billion LNG terminal in Bangladesh
Petronet LNG Ltd, India’s biggest liquefied natural gas importer, has submitted a firm proposal to set up an LNG import facility in Bangladesh at an investment of about USD 1 billion, its Managing Director and CEO Prabhat Singh said. Petronet had last year signed a MoU with Petrobangla to set up a 7.5 million tonnes a year project to receive and regasify LNG on Kutubdia Island in Cox`s Bazar and lay a 26-km pipeline to connect it to the consumption markets. The firm has now made a formal proposal with techno-economic details including the cost to the Bangladesh government for approval, Singh said. "We have told them that we can build the land-based LNG receipt facility in 42 months from the date of receiving all approvals," he said. The project envisions future expansion and can be used for supplying LNG through small barges and LNG trucks to users which are not connected by the gas grid. Once Bangladesh government accepts the proposal, a formal pact will be signed between Petronet and Petrobangla, he said. Kutubdia islands has a natural harbor with a good draft and a natural breakwater, ideal for setting up LNG terminal. The proposed terminal is beside the one Bangladesh is looking to set up at Matarbari in Moheshkhali Island of Cox`s Bazar district or Anwara, Chittagong. The terminal, to be set up on the build-own-operate basis, will supply gas to power plants. Bangladesh has a lot of unmet demand. Gas demand is projected to more than double to 45 million tonnes from the current 20 million tonnes in next 20 years. Excelerate Energy is looking at setting up a floating terminal at Moheshkhali. Originally, Petronet was one of the five global energy firms shortlisted for setting up the LNG import terminal. The others shortlisted included Anglo-Dutch super-major Shell, China`s Huanqiu Contracting and Engineering, Tractebel Engineering of Belgium and Japan`s Mitsui. Only Petronet now remains in fray for the project. Bangladesh is looking at importing gas to ease its energy crisis in southeastern Chittagong region, which was once almost self-reliant in natural gas but started facing a supply crisis in 2006 as output diminished from the Sangu gas field. The country`s sole offshore gas well, Sangu-11, was permanently closed in October 2013. As a result, some plants are running below the capacity and a few have been shut due to non-availability of gas. The LNG terminal will supply gas to a proposed 1,000 MW combined cycle power plant as well as the existing power plants in Raozan and Sikalbaha through a planned pipeline. Bangladesh is also looking at setting up a floating LNG import facility in the Bay of Bengal. The Floating Storage and Re-gasification Unit (FSRU) of 500 million cubic feet a day capacity can, however, meet only a part of the growing demand for gas in power, fertiliser, factory, and industry.
BPDB, GE sign deal for 3600 MW power plant
American conglomerate General Electric Company (GE) inked a MoU with the state-run Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) for implementing project worth $4.4 billion, including a 3,600-MW LNG to gasbased power plant, an associated LNG import terminal, and necessary infrastructure under a joint venture (JV). BPDB will be the lead partner having 51 per cent equity, while GE will have 30 per cent equity. The remaining 19 per cent equity will be provided by another strategic investor for implementing the 3,600-MW power plant and associated facilities. Prime Minister’s Energy Adviser Dr Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury was the chief guest at the MoU signing ceremony, held at Bidyut Bhaban in Dhaka on Wednesday. Khaled Mahmood, chairman of the BPDB, and Russel Stokes, GE power signed the MoU on behalf of the respective parties. US Ambassador to Bangladesh Marcia Stephens Bloom Bernicat and Power Division Secretary Ahmad Kaikaus were the special guests at the functions. Speaking on the occasion, the PM’s adviser lauded GE for being associated with the Bangladeshi companies to implement the power and energy projects. He urged the US company to establish a turbine manufacturing plant in the country, and help Bangladesh with innovative technologies to ensure sustainable energy at affordable cost. He also requested GE to consider establishing coal-fired power plants in Bangladesh to ensure diversification of energy and proper fuel-mix. BPDB and GE decided to form a joint venture company to implement the project. The joint venture will carry out a feasibility study, develop 5,600 acres of land, construct and operate the power plant, and construct an LNG import terminal and infrastructure. The plant will have three units of 1,200 MW. The estimated project cost includes $1.6 billion for land development and $2.8 billion for the power plant. The expected completion time is 36 months.