Bangladesh seeks to import LNG from RI
State-owned oil and gas giant Pertamina may soon supply its Bangladesh counterpart, Petrobangla, with liquefied natural gas (LNG) to support the South Asian country’s power sector.
Bangladesh plans to tap the currently low-priced and plentiful global LNG supplies to double its national power capacity to 24,000 megawatts (MW) by 2021 and eventually 40,000 MW in 2031, which will also help boost the country’s industrial sector.
Indonesia is among the countries it is eyeing to import LNG from, with a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed on Friday between Pertamina and Petrobangla, in addition to one signed by the Indonesian Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry and the Bangladesh Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry.
Petrobangla chairman Abul Md. Faizullah said the country’s gas supplies were experiencing a deficit, and that Bangladesh would start importing LNG next April.
Bangladesh is expected to have a gas deficit of 1 million tons starting next year, which may grow to 11 million tons by 2030.
Although the MoU did not describe a specific LNG volume, Petrobangla was expecting a significant amount from its Indonesian brethren.
“We have just given some sort of idea when we met with Pertamina at our office. We say that it might be more than 1 million tons per year [mtpa],” he said at a press conference, adding that if negotiations went smoothly, Petrobangla had high hopes that it would start importing Pertamina’s LNG starting next year.
Bangladesh’s first floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) will be commissioned by April 2018. It’s second will start operating next October. Each unit will have a capacity of 500 million standard cubic feet of gas per day (mmscfd).
Pertamina is not the first company Bangladesh has eyed for LNG imports. Petrobangla is expected to sign a deal with Qatar’s RasGas on Sept. 25, for a 15-year contract starting next April to import 1.5 mtpa for the first five years and 2.5 mtpa for the next decade after that.
The LNG Bangladesh seeks to import is intended for the power sector, which powers 71 percent of electricity in the country, with a demand of 700 mmscfd.
The Bangladesh government hopes the growth of the country’s power sector can also help it develop its industrial sector and reach its target to export US$50 billion worth of ready made garments by 2021.
Indonesia continues to have an annual surplus of LNG that remains unabsorbed by both the domestic and foreign market.
Data from the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry shows the country had an excess of 66.6 cargoes, made up of 43 cargoes intended for export and 23.6 cargoes for the domestic market last year. This figure increased from 22 cargoes in 2014.
Under the signed MoU, Pertamina also seeks opportunities to develop natural gas and LNG infrastructure, including FSRU, transmission pipes and a possible integrated-gas power plant in Bangladesh.
Pertamina gas and renewable energy director Yenni Andayani said this was part of the firm’s plan to expand its infrastructure business to South Asian countries such as Bangladesh, India and Pakistan.
Furthermore, Pertamina has formed a consortium made up of undisclosed international and Bangladesh partners to follow up on the MoU.
“The consortium is preparing an unsolicited proposal for an electricity solution in the form of an integrated project starting from LNG supply until power supply to the Bangladesh government,” she said.