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    Bangladesh Wants More Gas-Intensive Industries

Summary

The PM's energy adviser has called on entrepreneurs to develop new gas-intensive industries, saying LNG is on its way. Industry though has reason to be cautious.

by: M Azizur Rahman

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Bangladesh Wants More Gas-Intensive Industries

Bangladeshi prime minister Sheikh Hasina's energy adviser has called on entrepreneurs nationwide to develop new gas-intensive industries. New factories will get the gas deliveries they need, said Dr Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury August 9.

LNG imports to Bangladesh, once regasified, will supply around 1.5bn ft3/d of additional supply within the next two years,  said Chowdhury, adding that the first 0.5bn ft3/d floating, storage and regasification unit (FSRU) is due to commissioned this month. Initially though the FSRU will operate at only half-capacity.

A further FSRU with 0.5bn ft3/d (5.2bn m3/yr) capacity would be operational next year, followed by a third in 2020, he said elaborating on the government’s mechanism for supplying new gas as chief guest at a seminar at state-run Petrobangla's Dhaka headquarters to observe National Energy Security Day.

However, industry has reason to be cautious of the government's statements. Building new gas connections to industry has almost stopped, due to a scarcity of supply, while Petrobangla has pointed out that Bangladesh's indigenous gas production is around 2.768bn ft3/d, against demand for 3.7bn ft3/d.

Bangladesh hooked up its first FSRU August 5, with a Qatari LNG cargo on board, to a subsea pipeline at Moheshkhali Island thus enabling it to be unloaded. But FSRU Excellence had been waiting offshore for around three months waiting to dock. The 0.5bn ft3/d (3.75mn mt/yr LNG) capacity FSRU is on a long-term charter from US shipowner Excelerate Energy. 

Bangladesh's second FSRU, with the same capacity, is being developed by Summit Group for start-up early 2019. The country has already inked long-term LNG import deals with Qatar's RasGas and Oman's Oman Trading International. The country’s ministry of power, energy and mineral resources told the same Dhaka event that it plans to ensure uninterrupted gas supplies to consumers by year-end on the back of domestic and imported gas, and will monitor the effect of LNG imports on the domestic market.