The country's second LNG import terminal started operation on Monday, doubling the country's total LNG regasification capacity to 1,000 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd).
The terminal, a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) owned by local Summit Group, started supplying regasified LNG to the national gas grid on Monday morning.
With the start of the operation of the new LNG terminal, the country's total gas supply capacity also increased to around 3,700 mmcfd, including the locally produced gas to the tune of 2,700 mmcfd.
The two operational FSRUs, including the US-based Excelerate Energy's Excellence, supplied a total of around 600 mmcfd of LNG to the national gas grid on Monday, Managing Director of Rupantarita Prakritik Gas Company Ltd (RPGCL) Md Quamruzzaman told the FE.
The Summit Group's LNG terminal, with the 3.75 million tonnes per year (Mtpa) capacity, regasified around 500 mmcfd of LNG while the Excellence regasified around 100 mmcfd, he said.
Earlier, the FSRU arrived at Moheshkahi island in the Bay of Bengal on April 20, loaded with a commissioning cargo from QatarGas.
It has been positioned near the country's first FSRU, the Excellence, also with a capacity of 3.75 Mtpa.
The Excellence regasified around 533 mmcfd of LNG on April 28, according to Petrobangla.
The country's first LNG vessel, the Excellence, arrived at Moheshkhali in April 2018, but technical difficulties around mooring the unit to the docking facility and connecting it to the subsea pipelines delayed the delivery of the cargo by more than three months.
Since then, Bangladesh has shelved plans for three small-scale FSRUs following objections from the country's main port authority, a decision that disappointed commodity traders and shipping companies that were in talks with state-owned companies for LNG supply projects.
A senior official with Gas Transmission Company, a state-owned corporation responsible for expanding Bangladesh's gas distribution pipelines, however, said more pipeline constraints lie ahead for the new FSRU, as the construction of the necessary pipelines is yet to be completed.
The current pipeline infrastructure only has capacity to supply around 650 mmcfd, the equivalent of nearly 4.9 Mtpa, while both FSRUs are designed to regasify 500 mmcfd each for a total of 7.5 Mtpa, the official said.
The 90-km pipeline connecting Moheshkhali to Anwara, and the 181-km pipeline connecting Chattogram, Feni and Bakhrabad are still under construction.
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 expanding LNG import and pipeline distribution infrastructure.
Bangladesh is currently importing lean LNG from RasGas of Qatar and Oman Trading International (OTI) of Oman under term deals for regasification in both the FSRUs.
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