The country has got its first re-gasified LNG as Excelerate Energy has started re-gasifying imported gas.
The US-based company also initiated pumping LNG into the pipeline network from Sunday evening, said officials.
"Re-gasification of imported LNG has started. But it is now being pumped into the pipeline with low pressure," state-run Petrobangla chairman Abul Mansur Md Faizullah told the FE on Monday.
He said the pipeline pressure needs to be increased gradually to a required level before supplying the re-gasified LNG (liquefied natural gas) to the consumers' end.
Mr Faizullah hoped that consumers in the nearby Chattogram would get the first re-gasified LNG within the next couple of days.
Earlier, Excelerate successfully moored its floating storage and regasification unit to its docking facility on the Moheshkhali Island terminal in the Bay of Bengal on August 5 and initiated pre-commissioning work subsequently.
The vessel Excellence, carrying 136,000 cubic metre of lean LNG from Qatar, arrived at the terminal on April 24 and was due to start injecting gas into the pipeline network for consumption in Chattogram from May 7.
But technical issues and rough seas had kept the vessel stranded off the south coast of Chattogram for more than three months.
More constraints, however, lie ahead as the construction of the necessary pipelines has not completed yet.
The 30-km pipeline between Anwara and Fouzdarhat seems to be the major hurdle, while the 91 km segment of the pipeline between Moheshkhali and Anwara has already been completed and tested, which would facilitate supply of the initially re-gasified LNG to Chattogram, he added.
The current pipeline infrastructure only has the capacity of carrying around 250 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd), half the LNG project's re-gasification capacity, said a senior official of the state-owned Karnaphuli Gas Distribution Company Ltd. It supplies gas to the key consuming region of Chottogram.
Petrobangla signed 'terminal use agreement' and 'implementation agreement' with the US firm on the LNG terminal project-Moheshkhali Floating LNG Terminal-in July 2017.
Excelerate built the re-gasification unit on build, own, operate and transfer (BOOT) basis, he also said.
It will charge US$ 0.49 per Mcf (1,000 cubic feet) against its service from the day one.
Petrobangla will buy re-gasified LNG from the terminal on the take-or-pay basis, as per the contract.
The FSRU, which has been moored at Moheshkhali Island, near the port of Chattogram, has the capacity of 3.75 million tonnes per year.
Despite logistical and commercial challenges, Bangladesh is set to become a key LNG importer in the coming years, supported by growing consumption, dwindling domestic reserves and a healthy pipeline of LNG import and gas distribution projects.
According to S&P Global Platts Analytics forecasts Bangladesh's LNG demand is set to exceed 10 million tonnes per year by 2023.
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