Re-gasified LNG supply declines as vessel from Qatar fails to dock

FE Report | Published: September 21, 2018 09:31:35 | Updated: September 21, 2018 17:25:14

RasGas's second LNG-carrying vessel has been struggling to dock with Moheshkhali's floating LNG (liquefied natural gas) import terminal in the Bay of Bengal over the past couple days due to rough sea, insiders said.

Re-gasified LNG (R-LNG) supply to the port city of Chattogram fell by one-third to around 100 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) in consequence.

The situation is damaging for Petrobangla.

The state-run corporation is counting heavy losses as it would have to pay full charge for re-gasifying 500 mmcfd of gas, no matter it re-gasifies less or the maximum of its capacity, said a senior Petrobangla official.

Excelerate has been charging fees worth US$ 232,000 daily to Petrobangla since commissioning of its vessel on the Moheshkhali Island in the Bay of Bengal on August 18, he said.

People familiar with situation said this LNG-carrying vessel could not be docked on Thursday with the re-gasification unit.

Qatar's RasGas brought in its second commercial LNG vessel on Wednesday carrying around 140,000 cubic metre of LNG after the successful docking and unloading of LNG from its first commercial LNG supply on September 10.

The supply of re-gasified LNG to Chattogram reached as high as around 300 mmcfd last week much to the satisfaction to the gas-starved consumers of Chittagong.

But the sudden fall in re-gasified LNG supplies to the port city caused problem to both the state-run gas distribution company-Karnaphuli Gas Distribution Company Ltd (KGDCL) - and the clients under its jurisdiction area, said a senior Karnaphuli official.

KGDCL, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Petrobangla, is responsible for supplying natural gas to the port city of Chattogram.

Chattogram got around 300 mmcfd of re-gasified LNG last week, which came down to around 200 mmcfd until on Wednesday afternoon and then it dropped to around 100 mmcfd, said the KGDCL official.

It's hard to shut any operational fertiliser factory or power plant abruptly, he added.

Karnaphuli's gas take from the main pipeline increased almost four-folds to 150 mmcfd for Chattogram clients, from the previous week's 40 mmcfd, to cope with short supplies of re-gasified LNG, the official added.

Bangladesh started commercially the supply of re-gasified LNG from Exceleretae's FSRU on August 18, around four months after the entry of the FSRU loaded with LNG.

The Excellence, carrying 136,000 cubic metre of lean LNG from Qatar, arrived at the Moheshkhali Island terminal April 24, and was due to start delivering the LNG from May 7.

However, technical issues and rough seas during Bangladesh's southwestern monsoon over June-August, kept it stranded off the south coast of Chattogram for more than three months.

Excelerate Energy docked and connected the FSRU to the subsea pipeline network August 05, and commenced injecting the gas on August 12.

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