BPC invites bids for feasibility study to build LPG terminal
Published : Monday, 30 November, 2020 at 12:00 AM Count : 639
Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) is set to invite bids seeking Expression of Interest (EoI) from international companies to engage a consultant to conduct feasibility study to build a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) terminal in the country with a capacity of 40,000 (plus) metric tons per annum (MTA).
"A shortfall in supplies of natural gas has prompted the government to encourage the use of LPG for households. Presently, government is able to supply gas (through pipeline) to only 14 per cent households. The demand for LPG now stands at 1 million tonnes against a supply of 600,000 tonnes. A large number of people are dependent on wood, cow dung etc for cooking purpose," Chairman BPC Md Abu Bakr Siddique said.
The LPG terminal could be built at Matarbari on Moheshkhali Island in the Bay of Bengal, where the country's first deep-sea port will be built.
"We wanted to float the tender next month. The move for LPG terminal came as part of the government's plan to cut the cost of import as it would be to handle large LPG ships directly, helping cut down import and distribution costs by US$35 to $40 per tonne," official said.
Private companies presently spend around $100 on per tonne of LPG as cost of carrying via small ships that transport up to 3,000 tonnes of LPG from abroad. If the BPC terminal is built, this cost will come down to about $60, he added.
According to our plan, there will be a jetty in the terminal for anchoring a vessel carrying 40,000 tonnes of refrigerated LPG. Later, the stored LPG will be supplied to the LPG gas companies across the country by small ships, BPC official said.
"We are yet to fix the modality of the project, it may be a joint venture mode, private sector sponsor will set up the LNG terminal on Build-Own-Operate (BOO) basis once it is selected," the BPC Chairman said.
Three Japanese firms have already showed their interest to build the LPG terminal, these companies are Mitsui & Co Ltd, Marubeni Corporation and Osaka Gas Co Ltd and joint venture of Sumitomo Corporation and Chungko Electric Power Co Inc.
Meanwhile, some BPC senior officials have already started talks with different companies to conduct a feasibility study. A Dubai-based Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC) delegation sat with the BPC official and told them that they have decided to conduct a feasibility study for a joint venture project to build an LPG terminal.
Bangladesh currently imports LPG mostly from Oman and Qatar. Transport cost for LPG is now about $100 per tonne but once the terminal is built that cost could fall to $30 as it will allow big ships to anchor, which would translate into a 10 per cent lower price for end-users.
Bangladesh's demand for LPG now stands at 1 million tonnes against a supply of 600,000 tonnes, the official said, adding the demand could go up to 2 million tonnes by 2022 as it will be a key source for cooking gas in Bangladeshi households.
LPG, a mixture of propane and butane, can be used for cooking and in transports, as well as in the petrochemical industry.