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Indian company wants to build gas pipeline in Bangladesh

Ashraful Islam Raana
06 Sep 2023 21:39:04 | Update: 06 Sep 2023 21:43:36
Indian company wants to build gas pipeline in Bangladesh

Indian company H-Energy wants to build a gas transmission line in Bangladesh even though there are no regulations. H-Energy will export RLNG from West Bengal to Bangladesh through this pipeline. Due to no understanding on regard, the LNG import from India has been stuck.

Bangladesh Oil, Gas and Mineral Corporation (Petrobangla) officials say Gas Transmission Company Limited (GTCL) under the Petrobangla is the only authority to construct gas pipelines in the country.

In addition to cost savings, state-run GTCL gets wheeling charges. But if the Indian company builds the pipeline, the gas price may go up as well as the wheeling charges, all of which will be pocketed by H- Energy.

A responsible officer from Petrobangla said seeking anonymity H Energy has agreed to acquire the land to be acquired for the construction of the pipeline in the name of Petrobangla.  However, they remain steadfast in their insistence on pipeline construction, causing a deadlock in the project.

Speaking to The Business Post, General Manager (LNG) of Petrobangla, Tazul Islam Majumder said, “There is a need for detail discussion on what will be the gas price, how much gas we will take, because H-Energy also wants to build the pipeline in Bangladesh portion. This may increase the cost. Whether we can afford it or not will have to be looked into further. Our discussions with H- Energy on these issues are ongoing.

According to government information, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Petrobangla and H-Energy in June 2021 to import 200 million cubic feet of gas per day (MMcf/d) from India.

It was supposed to start by June 2022 and Rupsha 800 MW Power Plant under construction in Khulna is supposed to run. The plant is almost completed by North West Power Generation Company.

The LNG import has been hanged due to pipeline construction complications; however H-Energy has advanced its work a lot in Indian side, Petrobangla officials said.

H-Energy has constructed LNG terminal at Kanai Chhata area of East Midnipur district in West Bengal to supply LNG to Nadia district and Bangladesh. From there, the construction of the Kanai Chhata-Shrirampur Pipeline is nearing completion, according to H-Energy's website.

H-Energy data shows the Kanai Chhata-Shrirampur Pipeline is 150 km to the Bangladesh border. From there, another 65-km pipeline will be constructed through Bhomra land port in Satkhira to Khulna in Bangladesh. This part is not also being negotiated between Petrobangla and H-Energy.

Meanwhile, according to the government plan, the cost of GTCL has been estimated at Tk 1000 crore for constructing the 65-km pipeline from Satkhira to Khulna.

GTCL information said, route survey work has been completed in the project for the construction of Satkhira-Khulna gas transmission pipeline.

The commencement of the project was subject to the signing of the GIA with India. The revised PDPP of the project proposed for foreign assistance in this project received in-principle approval from the Ministry of Planning on June 24, 2021.

Despite multiple attempts, GTCL MD Rukhsana Nazma Ishaq did not respond to calls on his mobile. At present, one-third of the gas used in country is supplied from LNG. That is, out of 2800 MMcf/d supplied, 850 MMcf/d is LNG.

The government hopes that importing LNG from India will solve the gas crisis in the southwestern region. However, experts have always opposed the import of LNG at higher prices.

Sources said the government is currently in the process of securing long-term LNG contracts with multiple nations. Along with the floating LNG terminal, another land based terminal is being constructed at Matarbari in Cox's Bazar. Beyond this, a terminal will be constructed at Payra to solve the extreme gas shortage.