SOUTH ASIA TO BE GLOBAL LNG HOTSPOT
Bangladesh, Pakistan set to join club of importers next year
SOUTH Asia, long a backwater for energy markets, is emerging as a hotspot for liquefied natural gas (LNG), with Pakistan and Bangladesh set to join India as major consumers, helping to ease global oversupply that has dogged this market for years.
Only India and Pakistan currently import LNG in South Asia, taking in a combined 25 million tonnes, or eight per cent of global demand last year.
But with a fast growing population, strong economic growth and soaring energy demand, more import projects are being developed.
With Bangladesh set to join the club of importers next year, the region could import 80 million to 100 million tonnes a year by the mid 2020s, analysts said, making it the world’s second biggest import region, ahead of Europe.
Bangladesh, a country of over 160 million people, could import as much as 2,500 million cu ft per day (mmcfd) of LNG, equivalent to around 17.5 million tonnes per year, by 2025, said Nasrul Hamid, Bangladesh’s minister for energy and power.
With its own gas reserves depleting and seeking to almost double power capacity to 24,000 megawatts by 2021, Bangladesh is tapping cheap and plentiful supplies on world markets and investing heavily in LNG.
Several floating storage and regasification units (FSRU) are due to begin importing cargoes starting next year. Two more FSRUs are planned.
In addition, state-run Petrobangla signed a preliminary deal with India’s Petronet in December to set up an onshore terminal to regasify a further 7.5 million tonnes a year of LNG on Kutubdia Island, just to the north of Moheshkhali, at a cost of US$950 million (RM4.07 billion). Reuters