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    Bangladesh Halts Trafigura Talks

Summary

Bangladesh has stopped negotiations over LNG supplies with Swiss trader Trafigura.

by: M Azizur Rahman

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Natural Gas News, Asia/Pacific, Corporate, Import/Export, Infrastructure, LNG, News By Country, Bangladesh, Belgium, Switzerland, United States

Bangladesh Halts Trafigura Talks

Bangladesh has stopped negotiations over LNG supplies with would-be supplier Trafigura, the head of a subsidiary of state-run importer Petrobangla has said.

Talks with the Swiss trader about regasified LNG supplies through a floating storage and regas unit (FSRU) failed to finalise a number of pending issues, managing director of state-run Rupantarita Prakrtitik Gas, MD Quamruzzaman told NGW May 16. He said there were disagreements on a number of issues, including the place of dispute settlement, and the LNG specification.

Trafigura was one of two firms that were picked up by Bangladesh from a total of 13 firms that initially expressed interests in providing two small FSRUs and handling LNG imports, regasification, and onward supply to the gas transmission pipeline owned by state-run Gas Transmission Company Ltd (GTCL), said Quamruzzaman. Its small FSRU was proposed to be installed at the adjacent to the jetty of state-owned Chittagong Urea Fertilizer Company Ltd (CUFL) on the Karnaphuli river near the Bay of Bengal.

A joint venture of Swiss trader Gunvor and Belgian shipowner Exmar was also selected to set up a small FSRU at the jetty of Karnaphuli Fertilizer Company Ltd (Kafco), also on the bank of Karnaphuli river.

Trafigura, and separately Gunvor/Exmar, were each expected to supply 0.15 to 0.2mn ft3/d of gas (equivalent to between 1.1 and 1.5mn mt/yr LNG)

Although Bangladesh not yet approved the proposal of the Gunvor-Exmar joint venture's plans, nor has it yet been cancelled either, said Quamruzzaman. Moreover, Exmar announced May 14 it had signed a firm charter of its FSRU barge to Gunvor for Bangladesh. 

The government had planned to install small FSRUs on the basis of unsolicited offers under its Speedy Supply of Power and Energy (Special Provision) Act 2010, which grants a provision of immunity to those involved with the quick-fix remedies. 

Bangladesh is all set to start supply of regasified LNG to consumers, as US-based Excelerate Energy has already brought in the country's first FSRU, named Excellence, after loading a 136,009 m3 LNG cargo from Qatar's RasGas on April 24.  Petrobangla chairman Abul Mansur Md Faizullah said that LNG regasified through Excellence might start from the third week of this month.