Installation of Moheshkhali LNG terminal
Petrobangla extends bid submission scheduleManzurul Ahsan
Petrobangla last week extended for the third time the schedule for submission of bids for the installation of a floating LNG terminal at Moheshkhali in the Bay of Bengal, as none of the four shortlisted foreign companies responded by April 30, when the second deadline expired for dropping their tenders, officials said.
On May 3, three days after the second extended schedule expired, the state-run oil, gas and mineral resources corporation issued letters to the four companies seeking explanation why they failed to submit bids.
None of the four companies submitted their bids by April 30 because they consider it not feasible to install an LNG terminal in one and half years, officials said.
Petrobangla extended the date for submission of bids thrice – first from January 31 to April 15, then to April 30 and now to May 31.
Asked why the same group of short listed companies was being given another opportunity to bid for the project, Petrobangla chairman Hossain Monsur said, ‘We need to know their explanation why they failed to respond.’
He said that Petrobangla invited the companies to a meeting on May 29 to discuss the matter.
Usually, bid submission dates are extended at least three days before expiry of the time limit if one or more bidders want it, a Petrobangla official told New Age on condition of anonymity.
‘But, so far, none of the bidders sought the extension,’ he said.
Last year, Petrobangla short-listed four international companies – Bermuda-based Golar LNG Energy, a joint venture between US-based Astra Oil and Excelerate Energy, South Korea’s Samsung C&T Corporation, and India’s Hiranandani Electricity for the installation of the floating LNG terminal.
In the face of acute gas supply shortage, the government, immediately after taking office in 2009, took the decision to import LNG at high price, beginning 2012, to meet the country’s growing demand for gas, particularly for the power plants and industries in Chittagong.
It was in this backdrop that the government took the plan for building the terminal at Moheshkali with a capacity of handling 5.0 million tonnes of LNG a year, re-gasification of at least 500 million cubic feet a day, complete with berthing and mooring facilities for ships carrying LNG and for laying 91 kilometres of pipeline for feeding the liquefied natural gas to the national grid.
Meanwhile, Gas Transmission Company Limited, a subsidiary of Petrobangla, awarded to an Indian company a $36.324 million contract for laying the 91-kilometre pipeline between Moheshkhali and Anwara, for supplying re-gasified LNG from the proposed terminal to the national grid.
The government had taken the entire project under the Speedy Supply of Power and Energy (Special Provision) Act 2010.
Now Petrobangla supplies around 2,100 mmcfd of gas.
And the current shortage of gas facing the country is estimated at over 500 mmcfd.
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