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Private importers free to sell LNG to other users

‘LNG Import Policy for Pvt Sector’ says


M Azizur Rahman | Published: June 26, 2019 09:30:51 | Updated: June 26, 2019 16:36:04


Reuters file photo used for representation

The private parties concerned will have the liberty to sell re-gasified LNG at the prices negotiated with their buyers under the maiden LNG import policy adopted by the government recently.

Under the "LNG Import Policy for Private Sector 2019," the private parties, local or foreign, will be able to import LNG (liquefied natural gas), re-gasify it and sell the re-gasified LNG to the consumers of their choice.

The government will not interfere in fixing the selling prices of the re-gasified LNG imported by the private parties, the policy spells out.

The private sector LNG importers would also be allowed to use the imported re-gasified LNG at their own power plants and industrial units and for other commercial purposes.

They would also have the liberty to supply the re-gasified LNG to others' power plants, industrial units and commercial entities.

The private sector will, however, be allowed to sell the 'surplus' re-gasified LNG, not exceeding 25 per cent of their total imported volume, to the state-run Petrobangla that markets petroleum products locally, the policy states.

But the selling price of the re-gasified LNG to Petrobangla should be determined by it, the policy notes.

To facilitate smooth import of LNG and supply the re-gasified LNG to consumers, the private sector will be able to build international standard jetties or platforms, storage tanks, re-gasification plants and pipeline networks.

The private sector LNG importers will also be able to use the natural gas pipeline or distribution network of the Petrobangla to supply their re-gasified LNG to the end users with its prior permission and on payment of the wheeling charge.

Any potential private party must have the experience of constructing or maintaining heavy industries in the power and energy sector.

In case of any consortium, the third party must have a minimum of five years' experience in construction or maintaining any LNG project.

The LNG importers must have to provide necessary documents about the potential buyers and the required volume of LNG before obtaining the import permission.

To continue LNG imports, the private sector will have to obtain no-objection certificates (NOCs) from the concerned government department every year.

The country entered the LNG import era on April 24 last year, when the US-based Excelerate Energy's Excellence arrived at the Moheshkhali Island terminal carrying 136,000 cubic metres of lean LNG from Qatar.

The Petrobangla, however, started regular import of LNG from Qatar's RasGas on September 9 that year after initiating successfully the feeding of re-gasified LNG to consumers from August 18.

Currently some 600 million cubic feet per day (mmcf) of re-gasified LNG are being supplied to the national grid, especially to the consumers of Chattogram city through two LNG import terminals.

Bangladesh will need to import around 30 million tonnes of LNG per year to meet the mounting demand from various sectors, including industries, power plants and fertiliser plants by 2041 as the domestic gas reserves are depleting fast, according to a report prepared by Copenhagen-based research firm Ramboll in association with the Geological Survey of Denmark and EQMS Consulting Limited.

Bangladesh's existing gas reserves of around 12 Tcf (trillion cubic feet) would completely run out by 2038 in the event of no new discovery of gas reserves, the report added.

azizjst@yahoo.com

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