Power and Evergy : Bangladesh to import LNG from Qatar

The government has also started a market study on liquid natural gas (LNG) to face the gas crisis, M Tamim, a special assistant to the chief adviser, Wednesday told on “Better business through eco and energy efficiency national seminar” at The Westin Dhaka.

Prof Tamim revealed the new plan by the government at a seminar in the city, where a top businessman said that businesses would not take up new ventures if “energy security” was not ensured.

The government has also moved to allow direct transmission of power, generated in the private sector, to consumers, said M Tamim, a special assistant to the chief adviser, Wednesday.

Tamim, who is in charge of the power, energy and mineral resources ministry, said the power transmission line would be opened to the private sector so that it could generate and consume its own electricity.

?The state-owned PDB?s electricity transmission lines would be opened for all investments by private entrepreneurs. They will be allowed to use national Power Grid network on fixed rent,? he added while addressing a seminar yesterday in the capital titled ?Better Business Through Eco and Energy Efficiency.?

The Seminar was jointly organised by Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA), German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) and Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA).

Speaking on the seminar, Dr Tamim also informed that the present Government is seriously considering importing liquid gas from Qatar to cope with current gas shortage in Bangladesh.

According to him, the Government will need over $20 billion investment in power sector in coming few years. Importing gas from Qatar is an effort to search alternative power source. Government has already initiated talk with its Qatar counterparts that would take some time to finalize the deal, he added.

Per unit liquid gas from Qatar would cost around Seven dollar, likely to be imported through pipelines or barge shipments, he informed.

He also urged the media to create mass-awareness among the people and motivate them to come forward for saving energy. ?Media can help change the habit of the people through motivation.?

Anwar-Ul-Alam Chowdhury, president of BGMEA, said that without energy assurance they would not enter any new venture.

He said that if the current energy situation continued, the local industry would perish in the next few years. He urged the government to make a 15 to 20-year energy action plan. “Prices were not important, but energy for a long period was. Prices should be competitive.”

BKMEA president Fazlul Hoque said that load shedding was occurring eight to ten times a day. “New investments must be made for energy conservation. Costs of raw materials have increased, but we have not cut wages.”

BD Rahmatullah, director of the Rural Electrification Board, said in his paper that more conservatively the peak demand of electricity could easily be shifted through efficient load management.

A high-powered Bangladesh delegation will soon visit Qatar to discuss the possibility of importing LNG (liquefied natural gas) from the Gulf country.

This was decided at a meeting at the Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry in Dhaka on Monday with its State Minister Enamul Haque in the chair. Prime Minister?s Advisor Dr. Towfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury was also present.

The decision came in the backdrop of the government?s desperate move to resolve the nagging gas crisis through import.

At present, Bangladesh has been experiencing a shortfall of about 500 million cubic feet of gas per day (MMCFD) against its demand of 2,400 MMCFD. The shortfall in gas supply severely hit the power generation as well as industrial production.

Qatar has been one of the top LNG exporting countries in the Gulf region from which India and some other countries are now meeting their gas demand, a senior official, who attended the meeting, told newsmen in Dhaka.

That?s why Qatar will be our first preference as source of LNG import. Our delegation would first ensure the availability at cheaper price with suitable terms and conditions, he said.

The official said the meeting also discussed the setting up of a LNG terminal at the Bay of Bengal in Bangladesh territory under private sponsorship.

The meeting also discussed the installation of a 90-kilometer pipeline to transmit gas from the terminal to a secure point in southeastern port city of Chittagong to feed the national gas grid.

As per decision of the meeting, the state-owned Gas Transmission Company of Bangladesh (GTCL) will initiate move for land acquisition to install the proposed gas pipeline

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