The government now intends to get advice from global experts to carry out the country's overall liquefied natural gas (LNG) purchases, terminal development and other relevant activities.
State-run Rupantarita Prakritik Gas Company Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Petrobangla, has already invited international consulting firms to submit expressions of interest (EoIs) for advising on technical, commercial and financial issues on LNG.
Bangladesh is currently undergoing a natural gas crisis with dwindling natural gas reserves of domestic gas fields and trying to meet the growing demand with LNG imports.
State-run Petrobangla has already increased LNG imports from the volatile spot market, where the current price is hovering around US$30 per metric million British thermal units (mmBtu).
Under long-term contract, Qatar's Qatargas has also increased supply of LNG during the current summer by re-scheduling its previous cargo delivery plan for Bangladesh.
Petrobangla had imposed a 10-day gas rationing from April 12 to April 21 in industries for the first time asking industrial consumers not to consume natural gas four hours daily from 5pm to 9pm to cope with short supply of natural gas.
A six-hour gas rationing for CNG filling stations from 5pm to 11pm is still in execution.
Country's two operational floating, storage, re-gasification units (FSRUs) are running around their maximum capacity, re-gasifying around 800 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) of LNG to meet the mounting domestic demand of natural gas.
The government is also working to build a 1,000 mmcfd capacity land based LNG import terminal and the request for proposals has already been issued to eight previously short-listed global firms in order to select the contractor.
To carry out the government's future LNG activities smoothly, the selected consultancy firm will have to carry out comprehensive and conclusive consultancy services for LNG procurement, LNG terminal development, and future LNG activities.
The firm will have to observe, investigate and recommend on LNG imports, LNG carrier scheduling, supply chain management, LNG terminal development and other ongoing and future LNG activities in Bangladesh.
The firm will undertake and coordinate preparation and finalisation of the annual delivery programme for cargoes from LNG sources into two FSRU terminals and other future terminals.
It will have to review performance of the FSRU terminals and review energy balance periodically and analyse the LNG market and recommend LNG procurement for long-term and spot market.
The consulting firm will have to support Bangladesh in finalising LNG sales and purchase agreements, terminal use agreement, implementation agreement, and charter agreements for carriers.
It will have to provide support during construction of the terminal facilities, from signing of final agreement with the terminal developer to commissioning and acceptance of the terminal.
The consulting firm will have to comment, recommend and advise on project cost estimates with financial and economic analysis submitted by the build, own, operate and transfer (BOOT) developer, and the design, drawing and monthly progress report submitted by the BOOT developer.
It will also have to recommend the capacity-building procedure of the Rupantarita Prakritik Gas Company Ltd.
Sources said the government earlier appointed Japanese consulting firm Tokyo Gas Co Ltd to carry out a feasibility study and prepared the request-for-proposal documents to help select the contractor for building the land-based LNG terminal.
Petrobangla also selected Scotland's Wood Mackenzie to carry out the job of sweetening Bangladesh's offshore model production sharing contract to make it lucrative for the international oil companies to carry out hydrocarbon exploration in the Bay.
This was the first time that Petrobangla appointed an international consultant to review the model production sharing contract. Previously, Petrobangla would do it on its own by its manpower.