Staff Correspondent
The government’s move to setting up the first ever land-based Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminal in Cox’s Bazar is likely to be completed by 2024. Bangladesh is going to achieve a new milestone in the energy sector as the terminal will have the capacity to process 1000mmcfd (million cubic feet per day) of imported natural gas.
A senior official of energy division said they will invite international tenders soon for installing the mega terminalconsidering the country’s gas crisis. It is expected that the construction of the terminal will end by 2024.
However, an energy expert said the government should take the LNG project carefully as it is a costly fuel.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has already directed the officials concerned of energy division for taking necessary measures in this regard. The government has also asked the authorities concerned for acquisition of necessary land for setting up the terminal, sources said.
Insiders of the energy sector, however, opined that the government should tag conditions for allowing the international oil giants that have experience and have suppliers as well as technical expertise to install the land based LNG terminals.
Meanwhile, the government has decided to pull out from its decision to set up several floating storage and re-gasification unit (FSRU) popularly known as Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminal in the Bay of Bengal.
The government has planned to establish two land-based liquefied natural gas terminals alongside the floating terminal, as it continues with its efforts to alleviate the country’s energy shortage.
The sites being considered for the land-based LNG terminals are in Kutubdia, Moheshkhali, Payra and two other places.
Each of the two land-based terminals will supply 1,000 million cubic feet (MMCFD) of gas every day, according to an official of the energy ministry.
Over half a dozen of local and international companies have been expressing their interests to set up LNG based power plants in the country having combined capacity to generate 13,083MW of electricity under unsolicited deals, official confirmed.
Earlier, the government approved two floating LNG terminals, each of which will supply 500 MMCFD of gas. One was built by US-based Excelerate Energy, while the other is being constructed by local conglomerate Summit Group.
Bangladesh began importing LNG from Qatar on a regular basis in September through the country’s first FSRU operated by privately owned US Company Excelerate.
The FSRU arrived in April for commissioning at the port of Moheshkhali near the city of Cox’s Bazar, but its start-up was delayed by several months due to technical problems and bad weather.
A second FSRU project, operated by Summit Corp with Japan’s Mitsubishi Corp as a partner, is expected to start operations in March next year, doubling the country’s import capacity to 7.5 million tons a year.
Bangladesh is looking outside to alleviate its energy shortage largely caused by depletion of domestic reserves and rising demand.
The shortage of gas has affected power generation. The government aims to set up four land-based LNG terminals and one or two floating storage and re-gasification units.