Petrobangla to give job to US firm without knowing detailsManjurul Ahsan
Petrobangla is likely to award the US-based Astra Oil and Excelerate Energy a contract for installation of a floating LNG terminal at Moheshkhali in the Bay of Bengal, although the firm has not given the financial break-up or technical details in its bid document for project implementation, said officials.
An Energy Division official told New Age that Petrobangla on Monday gave a presentation on Excelerate’s proposal for building the infrastructure for importing Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). ‘But it was an incomplete one,’ he said.
The Energy Division asked Petrobangla to explain the investment and technical details which were not specified in Excelerate Energy’s bid document, said the official.
‘Exelerate demanded $0.39 for processing per million cubic feet of gas for 15 years as installation cost for the LNG terminal, which is an acceptable offer. But the firm also sought a number of facilities including an equipment procuring contract fee and credit support, which are not clear and need discussion before making any decision in this regard,’ he said.
Petrobangla’s chairman Hossain Monsur said that they would send a letter to the US company to clarify some issues which were placed in its proposal.
Petrobangla — the state-run oil, gas and mineral resources corporation — earlier found the US firm ‘qualified’ for the project after going through a long negotiation process.
In 2011, Petrobangla short-listed four international firms out 10 — 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 — and asked them to submit their bids for installation of the floating LNG terminal.
But none of the four firms expressed interest in the project as they did not find it possible to implement the project in one and a half year although Petrobangla deferred the bid submission date four times — from January 31 to April 15, then to April 30, thereafter to May 31 and finally to June 11.
Petrobangla appointed Poten and Partners as consultant for facilitating project implementation.
The World Bank agreed to lend $1.5 million as fee for consultancy.
In the face of the acute shortage of gas, the government, immediately after taking office in 2009, decided to import LNG at high price to meet the country’s growing demand for gas, particularly for the power plants and industries in Chittagong.
According to the plan, the terminal will have the capacity to handle 5 million tonnes of LNG a year, convert LNG into 500 million cubic feet of gas a day, complete berthing and mooring facilities for ships carrying LNG, and lay 91 kilometres of pipeline for feeding gas to the national grid.
The Gas Transmission Company Ltd, a subsidiary of Petrobangla, awarded an Indian company a $36.324 million contract for laying the 91-kilometre pipeline between Moheshkhali and Anwara for supplying converted LNG from the proposed terminal to the national grid.
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