LNG supply for Reliance power plant still uncertain

Dhaka,  Wed,  23 August 2017
Published : 17 Jun 2017, 23:00:15
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LNG supply for Reliance power plant still uncertain

M Azizur Rahman

The government has yet to decide the source of natural gas for feeding Indian Reliance Power company's 718-megawatt plant in Bangladesh despite its approval, officials said.

Reliance Power Ltd is the first firm that got the government nod to build a power plant to be fuelled by imported re-gasified LNG to the tune of around 110 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd), a senior Petrobangla official said.

But dilemmas still hover over whether Reliance should get the re-gasified LNG (liquefied natural gas) from Petrobangla or the Indian firm itself would import the fuel to generate electricity, the official added.

Reliance is set to build a 718MW LNG-based power plant at Meghnaghat in Narayanganj, some 24 kilometres south of the capital, Dhaka.

The Indian company is all set to ink a power-purchase agreement (PPA) and an implementation agreement (IA) with the state-run Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) to sell electricity to be generated from the plant as the cabinet committee on public purchase approved the rate of power tariff on May 24.

BPDB will purchase electricity from Reliance's power plant for 22 years at a levelised tariff rate of 7.31 US cents (Tk 5.85 per kilowatt-hour) as per the cabinet-committee approval.

Top officials of Energy and Mineral Resources Division (EMRD) under the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources (MPEMR) and Petrobangla are still in discussion to settle whether the Reliance should build a new floating storage and re-gasification unit (FSRU) at Moheshkhali island to import LNG or Petrobangla should provide imported LNG for the plant, he added.

The company will require a pipeline to supply re-gasified LNG to Meghnaghat from Moheshkhali, if the required re-gasified LNG is imported for the plant.

The state-run Gas Transmission Company Ltd (GTCL) will install a gas pipeline from Moheshkhali to Bakhrabad. It will build another pipeline from Kutumbupur of Bakhrabad to Meghnaghat with its own funds to supply gas to the power plant. Reliance will pay 'wheeling charge' to GTCL for using the pipeline.

A senior EMRD official said, "Bangladesh plans to build country's first power plant that will run on imported re-gasified LNG by mid-June 2019."

The state-owned North West Power Generation Company Ltd (NWPGCL) has started work separately and already issued an invitation for pre-qualification for engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning of an 800-MW combined-cycle power plant at Rupsha in the country's southern Khulna region, said a senior NWPGCL official. The power plant will have two gas-fired units, each having 400MW capacity.

Some 125mmcfd re-gasified LNG would be required to generate electricity from the NWPGCL's proposed power plant, the official added.

NWPGCL is the implementing authority of the Rupsha power plant and Petrobangla will supply the re-gasified LNG.

Bangladesh expects to start LNG import from early 2018 through the country's first FSRU, which is being developed by US-based Excelerate near Moheshkhali Island in the Bay of Bengal.

FSRU is the first of several LNG-import facilities planned, and it would have re-gasification capacity of 500mmcfd and 138,000 cubic metres of LNG-storage capacity.

Azizjst@yahoo.com
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