The government has shortlisted eight global firms to select a contractor to build Bangladesh's first land-based LNG terminal at Matarbari business hub, as the country now hugely depends on the fuel to supplement natural-gas supply.
Officials say the terminal will have the capacity to handle 7.5 million tonnes per year (Mtpa) of the imported liquefied natural gas or LNG.
They said the Energy and Mineral Resources Division (EMRD) under the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources (MPE-MR) made the selection from among 12 firms that previously had submitted expressions of interest (EOIs) for the terminal works.
The firms include Japan's Mitsui & Co Ltd; Japan Investment Corporation for Matarbari Regas Terminal, a joint venture of Inpex Corporation, Sojitj Corpora-tion, Kyushu Elecrtric Power Co and local Unique Hotel and Resorts Ltd; joint venture of Total Gas Electric Holdings and Total Gas and Power Business Service of France; Petronet LNG Ltd; joint venture of Qatar Petroleum LNG Services and Exxon Mobil of Qatar; joint venture of local Summit Corporation Ltd, Mitsubishi Corporation, and Jera Co Inc and joint venture of United Enterprises & Co Ltd, Posco International Corp and Korea Gas Corporation and the consortium of Sumitomo Corporation and Chugoko Electric Power Co. Inc.
"The listed firms would be requested to submit request for proposals (RfPs) based on which one contractor will be selected to implement the project," said one official.
The proposed land-based terminal is planned to be built by the selected sponsor on build, own, operate and transfer (BOOT) basis at Matarbari in Cox'sbazar district near the Bay of Bengal.
Under the contract, the project company would own, operate and maintain it for 20 years.
Japanese consulting firm Tokyo Gas Co Ltd is currently carrying out feasibility study and preparing documents to help select the final bidder to build the LNG terminal.
"The Japanese firm will also help the government in evaluating the bid to select an appropriate bidder," the official said. The sources said the government is working to build the 7.5 MTPA-capacity land-based LNG terminal doubling the country's overall LNG re-gasification capacity to 15 MTPA.
Currently, two 3.75-million-tonne per-year-capacity LNG-import terminals having floating, storage, re-gasification units (FSRUs) are in operation having the capacity to re-gasify around 1,000 mmcfd in total.
Excelerate Energy started supplying re-gasified LNG from its FSRU commercially in August 2018, while Summit started supplies in April 2019.
Bangladesh started regular import of LNG from Qatar's then RasGas, now renamed Qatargas, on September 9, 2018.
Apart from Qatargas, Oman Trading International (OTI) is also supplying LNG to the country under long-term deals to feed a growing demand for energy which the natural gas from domestic reserves can partly meet.