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LNG re-gasification faces bump on rough sea

Consumers suffer from supply disruption

M Azizur Rahman | July 12, 2019 00:00:00

Re-gasification in the country's floating LNG terminals is facing a setback as the cargoes struggle to get connected with the FSRUs for inclement weather over the past week.

The combined supply of re-gasified LNG from the two operational LNG (liquefied natural gas) terminals dropped to as low as 192 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) on Wednesday, which is 19.2 per cent of their capacity of 1,000 mmcfd, according to Petrobangla.

LNG re-gasification in US's Excelerate Energy is now almost suspended as the fuel-carrying cargo was yet to get connected with it due to rough sea, a senior Petrobangla official told the FE on Thursday.

Countrywide natural gas supply faced disruption in consequence.

Chattogram suffered the worst as two gas-fired power plants having the total generation capacity of 230 megawatts (MWs) at Shikalbaha had to stop electricity generation on Wednesday due to the gas scarcity, said a senior official of state-run Karnaphuli Gas Distribution Company Ltd (KGDCL).

Both the power plants, however, were shifted to diesel for electricity generation to ensure power supply, he said.

Karnaphuli is responsible for supplying natural gas in Chattogram and its adjoining areas.

Summit's LNG terminal, however, started re-gasifying at almost full capacity of around 500 mmcfd from Thursday after struggling for a week, said the Petrobangla official.

He hoped that Excelerate's FSRU (floating, storage, re-gasification unit) might be fully operational once the stranded LNG cargo can get connected with it.

Officials said two LNG cargoes from RasGas of Qatar and Oman Trading International (OTI) of Oman reached Moheshkhali on July 5 and July 7 respectively.

They have been waiting for getting connected with the terminal and unloading the LNG for re-gasification since then due to rough sea.

Of them, the cargo carrying LNG from RasGas could get connected on Thursday with Summit's LNG terminal and the remaining one is still stranded, they said.

Petrobangla officials hoped that LNG re-gasification from both terminals would get back to normal with the improvement of weather.

"It is unfortunate that the people are paying for around 850 mmcfd of re-gasified LNG, but its supply dropped by one-fourth," said adviser of the Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB) Professor M Shamsul Alam.

Mr Alam said the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) should consider the past supply of LNG, not future projections considering all possible situations, while fixing gas prices.

The Commission raised natural gas tariff at an average rate of 32.8 per cent, with effect from July, considering LNG supply of 850 mmcfd and local gas supply of around 2,550 mmcfd.

The country has started importing LNG since April 24, 2018 with the arrival of Excelerte Energy's Excellence that reached Moheshkhali Island terminal carrying 136,000 cubic metre of lean LNG from Qatar's RasGas.

However, technical issues and rough seas during Bangladesh's southwestern monsoon over June-August, had kept it stranded off the south coast of Chattogram for more than three months.

Summit's LNG unit reached Moheshkhali on April 20, 2019.


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