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Summit LNG terminal arrives, awaits commissioning

Govt faces capacity payment risk


FE Report | Published: April 22, 2019 12:36:11


- Summit’s Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (FSRU) has arrived with 1,38,000 cubic metres of LNG at Moheshkhali

Summit Group's LNG terminal reached the country Saturday and is now waiting for commissioning to initiate supply of re-gasified LNG to consumers.

This is the country's second liquefied natural gas import terminal and both are floating, storage, re-gasification units (FSRUs).

Known as Summit LNG, the vessel with the FSRU is moored six kilometres off the Moheshkhali Island in Cox's Bazar with around 138,000 cubic metre of Qatari lean LNG, the company said.

Summit has chartered this vessel from the USA's Excelerate Energy, the contractor of the country's first LNG import terminal, for 15 years.

The FSRU would supply re-gasified LNG through subsea pipeline connected to the national grid.

Summit LNG has the capacity to re-gasify around 500 million cubic feet per day (mmcf) of LNG and 3.75 million tonnes per year.

The government, however, faces 'capacity payment' risk from the day one of the commercial operations of the country's second LNG import terminal.

The risk emanates as necessary transmission pipeline to evacuate re-gasified LNG has not been installed as yet.

Officials concerned fear that the pipeline is unlikely to get ready before the commissioning of the Summit's FSRU.

It might take even several months to complete the pipeline for evacuation of the LNG, said a senior official at the Gas Transmission Company Ltd (GTCL).

With the existing pipeline network, some 650 million cubic feet per day (mmcf) of LNG can be evacuated as against the total 1,000 mmcf a day capacity of two FSRUs.

The Excelerate Energy's FSRU with 500 mmcfd is already operational in almost full capacity.

The state-owned Petrobangla would have to pay 'capacity charge' for around 350 mmcfd, the official added.

The construction of two major pipelines -- one 42-inch 90 km pipeline from Moheshkhali to Anowara and another 36-inch 181 km Chittagong-Feni-Bakhrabad -- is required to evacuate the agreed quantity of LNG, which is around 1,000 mmcfd.

The transmission agency is responsible for installing gas pipelines in the country.

According to the deals, Petrobangla is required to pay Summit around $217,000 a day -- no matter it re-gasifies the agreed quantity of 500 mmcfd LNG or less.

For Excelerate Energy's FSRU, Petrobangla would have to pay around $237,000 per day.

Both the deals are on take or pay basis, meaning Petrobangla would have to pay the amount after commissioning of the FSRUs, no matter it re-gasifies or not.

Both the FSRUs are designed to re-gasify around 500 mmcfd, which is the agreed quantity between the Petrobangla and contractor.

Bangladesh began commercial operation of its first FSRU on August 18, 2018 after importing the first LNG - with Excelerate's commissioning cargo on April 24, 2018.

The Excellence got connected to the subsea pipeline network on August 05, and started injecting the first re-gasified LNG into the pipeline network on August 12.

Technical issues and rough seas during the June-August monsoon kept it stranded off the south coast of Chattogram for months.

Bangladesh is currently importing lean LNG from RasGas of Qatar and Oman Trading International (OTI) of Oman under term deals.

Azizjst@yahoo.com

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