Cyclone Damage to LNG Terminal Causes Severe Gas Shortage in Bangladesh

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Cyclone Damage to LNG Terminal Causes Severe Gas Shortage in Bangladesh

Bangladesh is grappling with an acute gas shortage after one of its two floating LNG terminals in the Bay of Bengal was damaged by the aftershocks of Cyclone Remal.

A broken pontoon in the Bay struck the Floating Storage Regasification Unit (FSRU) owned by Summit LNG on May 27, damaging the terminal’s ballast tanks. This incident has resulted in a significant shortfall of 400 million cubic feet (mmcf) of gas supply to the national grid, according to officials from Petrobangla, the state-owned gas company.

Typically, Bangladesh receives 1,100 mmcf of LNG daily from its two floating terminals. However, the supply has plummeted to below 700 mmcf in the last eight days due to the damage.

Repairing the terminal will take at least a month, and authorities are considering sending it to Singapore for repairs, stated Petrobangla Director (Operation and Mines) Kamruzzaman Khan. A Belgium-based company inspected the damage and recommended the terminal be sent abroad for the necessary repairs.

Meanwhile, the gas shortage has severely impacted industries, power plants, and CNG filling stations. Mohammad Ali Khokon, President of the Bangladesh Textile Mills Association, reported that many industries in Mymensingh, Gazipur, and Narayanganj areas have been unable to operate since the incident. He noted that communication with Petrobangla and Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company has not yielded any positive outcomes.

Petrobangla sources mentioned that they are planning to ration gas supply temporarily to manage the crisis. Technical experts have submitted a report on the damage to the Ministry of Power, Energy, and Mineral Resources.

RPGCL Managing Director Rafiqul Islam stated that efforts are ongoing to resume operations at Summit’s terminal. “In the next couple of days, we will have a clearer timeline for when the terminal can be operational again,” he told TBS.

Summit’s terminal is located at Maheshkhali in Cox’s Bazar, while the other terminal is operated by US firm Accelerate Energy. Together, the two terminals have a capacity of 1,100 mmcf of gas.

Due to the current disruption, gas supply to power plants has decreased, resulting in a reduction of gas-based electricity production by about 1,500 megawatts. The country currently faces a daily gas demand of 4,000 mmcf, with domestic production providing 2,635 mmcf, leaving a shortfall that has been exacerbated by the terminal’s closure.

This is not the first disruption caused by natural disasters. On May 12 last year, supply from the floating terminals was halted due to Cyclone Mocha, causing a severe gas crisis in power generation and industrial sectors across various regions, including Chattogram.

Yasir Monon
Yasir Monon
Online Editor, Business Mirror

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