In addition to importing oil and electricity, the Bangladesh government is now also planning to import Regasified Liquefied Natural Gas or RLNG from neighbouring India.
The divisions concerned of both the countries have been working on this matter for some time.
State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid revealed this plan on Thursday at a press conference at the Secretariat in the capital on the occasion of Energy Security Day-2019.
“The government is trying to import RLNG from India. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Petrobangla and India’s state owned company Oil India during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s last visit to Delhi,” said the state minister.
Imported gas will be received at the Satkhira border through a pipeline. This gas will be added to our national gas transmission grid by the Sundarban Gas Distribution Company-SGDC.
At present Bangladesh imports 8,800 tonnes of diesel oil and 1,160MW of electricity from India every month.
Apart from these, the Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation and the Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL), a public company, is implementing a pipeline project to import 10 lakh tonnes of oil annually from India. The project is scheduled to be completed by June 2021.
On 9 August 1975, when Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was president, the state bought five gas fields from Shell Oil company, thereby taking over state control of gas production. In recognition of his contribution, the cabinet division in 2010 issued a gazette notification declaring 9 August as National Energy Security Day. This day has been observed in the country every year since then.
Regarding coal mining, Nasrul Hamid said that coal will be extracted from different mines considering the upcoming demand for coal-fired power plants.
“The government will emphasise the use of domestic coal in these plants instead of importing coal from abroad. However, one has to keep the possible adverse environmental effects in mind when doing this, he added.
In response to a question, the minister said that the government has decided to hold a multi-client survey, an energy resource survey, and a bidding round (competitive tender bidding) for gas and oil exploration in offshore areas.
“Within one year Petrobangla will call a new bidding round for offshore area,” said Nasrul Hamid.
The minister also said that the cabinet division recently approved a revised Production Sharing Contract where the price per thousand cubic feet of gas has been increased from $6.5 to $7.25 to attract international oil companies.
Abu Hena Md Rahmatul Muneem, the secretary of the Energy and Mineral Resources Division, was also present at the briefing.