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July-December 2022

BD plans to import 18 LNG cargoes from spot mkt

12 cargoes are being imported for the January-June period

M AZIZUR RAHMAN | May 31, 2022 00:00:00

Bangladesh has planned to import a total of 18 liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargoes from the spot market during the July-December period - 50 per cent higher than the January-June import.

State-run Petrobangla will be importing the augmented quantity of expensive fuel to cope with the mounting natural gas demand as the country's domestic natural gas production is on wane and its long-term LNG suppliers have rejected pleas to increase LNG cargo delivery.

Bangladesh has been importing some 12 LNG cargoes from the spot market from January to June, 2022, said a senior official of the state-owned Rupantarita Prakritik Gas Company Ltd (RPGCL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the state-run Petrobangla.

RPGCL, which deals with Bangladesh's LNG imports, will be inviting bids from each of the listed suppliers to purchase LNG from the spot market.

Bangladesh imports around 138,000 cubic metres of LNG in each cargo from the spot market.

Separately, Bangladesh will be importing more than two dozens of LNG cargoes from long-term LNG suppliers during H2, 2022.

Currently, the RPGCL has 16 listed suppliers to purchase LNG from the spot market.

But it has moved to increase the number and is currently receiving expressions of interest (EOIs) from the potential LNG suppliers, with the deadline for submission of the EOIs ending on June 12.

Bangladesh imports half a dozen LNG cargoes from two long-term suppliers - Qatargas and Oman Trading International, currently renamed as OQ.

Petrobangla started importing LNG from the long-term suppliers in September 2018. It started importing LNG from the spot market in September 2020, two years after it initiated importing LNG from the long-term suppliers.

After importing the first LNG cargo from the spot market in September 2020, Bangladesh did not import LNG regularly until February 2022 due to 'higher' prices during summer and lower demand in winter seasons.

But from February 2022, Bangladesh has been importing LNG from the spot market every month due to soaring natural gas demand, which will continue to increase, according to Petrobangla.

RPGCL has master sales agreements (MSAs), with the listed global suppliers to source LNG from the spot market.

Bangladesh is importing spot LNG, having a gross heating value ranging 1,025-1,100 British thermal units (Btu) per standard cubic feet (scf).

The imported spot LNG is blended with locally produced natural gas, which is sulfur free and sweet gas, before it is delivered to end-users. Spot suppliers supply the fuel on a delivered ex-ship (DES) basis and the vessel sizes range between 125,000 cubic metres and 220,000 cubic metres.

Bangladesh's overall natural gas output is currently hovering around 3,095 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd), of which 760 mmcfd is re-gasified imported LNG, against the overall demand of around 4,100 mmcfd, according to Petrobangla statistics as on May 30, 2022.

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