Twelve Companies Vie To Build Bangladesh’s First Onshore LNG Import Terminal

The country has scrapped plans to build additional FSRUs, and decided instead on land-based LNG as the mainstay of its energy mix

Moheshkhali Floating LNG (MLNG) is Bangladesh’s first LNG import terminal.
Excelerate Energy

Twelve companies, including the following, have expressed interest in building the first onshore liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal in Bangladesh, according to Reuters.

  • Total
  • An ExxonMobil-Qatar Petroleum joint venture
  • Rupantarita Prakritik Gas Co., part of state-owned oil and gas company Petrobangla
  • Mitsui of Japan
  • South Korean utility KOGAS
  • A consortium led by Summit Corp., a unit of Bangladesh’s Summit Group (Japan’s Mitsubishi and JERA, the world’s largest LNG buyer, are minority stakeholders in the Summit consortium).
  • Petronet LNG of India

The South Asian country, which began importing LNG from Qatar in 2018 through the country’s first floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU), has scrapped plans to build additional FSRUs after the second unit began producing, and decided instead on land-based LNG as the mainstay of the energy mix for its population of more than 160 million people. The decision came after first imports via floating platform were delayed due to weather and technical issues. In a scenario with LNG expected to be a long-term solution, a land-based terminal with larger capacity would be more economical than a smaller FSRU, which is typically best suited to meet short- and mid-term demand, according to a senior industry analyst.
Early this year Rupantarita Prakritik requested expressions of interest (EOI) from potential terminal developers for a land-based LNG regasification terminal at Matarbari in the Cox’s Bazar district of southern Bangladesh. The EOI is for the design, engineering, procurement, construction, and commissioning of an onshore terminal that can handle 7.5 mtpa of LNG, including receiving, unloading, storage, and regasification. The onshore terminal, which can be expanded to 15 mtpa in the future, is part of Bangladesh’s strategy to develop its gas sector with private companies.

The EOIs were initially due on 20 March, but the closing date was delayed until late June after the companies requested more time. A committee will evaluate the proposals and create a short list based on the capabilities and technical assessments of the 12 companies, an official said. It could take more than a year to complete and award the contract for the terminal.

The project is on a build-own-operate basis for 20 years, with ownership then to be transferred at no cost to the Bangladeshi government or a company nominated by the government. The developer will receive the LNG from the LNG ship as part of an agreement between Bangladesh and the LNG supplier, unload and store it, re-gasify it, and supply the gas to the transmission pipeline. Projected completion date is June 2023.