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Bangladesh plans first power plant for imported LNG by June 2019

Bangladesh plans to build the country’s first power plant that will run on regasified imported LNG by mid-June 2019, a senior official at the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources told S&P Global Platts Thursday.

State-owned North West Power Generation Company Ltd., or NWPGCL, has issued an invitation of pre-qualification for engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning of the 800-MW combined cycle power plant at Rupsha in the country’s southern Khulna region. The power plant will have two gas-fired units, each 400 MW.

Some 125,000 Mcf/d of regasified LNG would be required to generate electricity from the proposed power plant, the official added.

NWPGCL is the implementing authority of the Rupsha power plant and state-run Petrobangla will supply the regasified LNG, NWPGCL managing director A.M Khurshedul Alam told Platts Thursday.

The power plant is expected to come online by June 2019, he said.

Bid submission deadline is July 12.

Asian Development Bank, or ADB, would provide $600 million and Islamic Development Bank, or IDB, would provide $200 million for development of the $950 million Rupsha power plant, Alam said, adding that the remaining $150 million would be provided by the Bangladesh government.

The proposed power plant may be fueled by regasified LNG from India or Qatar, Alam said.

NWPGCL earlier held several rounds of talks to import regasified LNG from India for the power plant. India’s H-Energy, GAIL and Adani are keen to supply the fuel, Alam added.

Bangladesh expects to start LNG imports from early 2018 through the country’s first floating storage and regasification unit, which is developed by US-based Excelerate near Moheshkhali Island in the Bay of Bengal.

The FSRU — the first of several LNG import facilities planned — would have regasification capacity of 500,000 Mcf/d and 138,000 cu m of LNG storage capacity.

Petrobangla, which has a terminal use agreement, has estimated it would spend around $1.57 billion annually to import 182.5 Bcf/year of LNG at an estimated cost of $8/Mcf, MPEMR’s LNG cell chief Mohammed Quamrumman said.

For 2018, Petrobangla has already moved to arrange funding for LNG imports and sought $1.4 billion from the government to foot the import bill, equivalent to around 77.77% of the estimated total cost of importing for the year, Quamrumman said.

Separately, Petrobangla is currently in negotiations with Qatar’s RasGas to import LNG.

The state-run Bangladeshi firm is also in talks with India’s Reliance Power Ltd. to buy LNG.

Bangladesh is now reeling under acute natural gas shortage with daily average output of around 2.70 Bcf against demand for over 3.30 Bcf/d, according to Petrobangla.

The country started facing natural gas shortage from 2009 with the rapid industrialization forcing Petrobangla to ration natural gas supplies to gas-guzzling industries, power plants, CNG filling stations and households.
Source: Platts

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