Bangladesh’s first LNG-import project is edging closer to start-up, with the news that International Finance Corp (IFC) and Excelerate Energy have secured debt-financing to the tune of US$125.7 million for the Moheshkhali LNG venture.
Co-developers IFC and Excelerate are developing the Moheshkhali LNG project in the Bay of Bengal. Excelerate will provide a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU), to be moored off Moheshkhali Island.
The US$179.5 million project, billed as the world’s first fully integrated floating LNG terminal, will import up to 3.5 million tonnes a year (mta) of LNG. This will enable Bangladesh’s state-owned energy major Petrobangla to increase the country’s natural gas supply by 20 per cent, supporting some 3,000 MW of additional power-generating capacity.
Excelerate is contracted to provide all the services under a single deal. It will fix a 138,000m³ FSRU – which it has yet to name – against the project for 15 years. Construction should be completed this year, putting the project on schedule to import its first cargoes next summer.
IFC said in a statement that the two partners had previously secured equity for the project. IFC has contributed US$10.8 million and Excelerate US$43.1 million.
Oxford Institute of Energy Studies predicts that Bangladesh will import between 13-18 mta by 2030.
A member of the World Bank Group, IFC is a global development player that promotes the private sector in the world’s emerging markets. Regional industry head of infrastructure and natural resources Asia-Pacific Hyun-chan Cho said: “Addressing depleting gas supplies is critical for [Bangladesh].
“We hope this first LNG-import facility in Bangladesh will pave the way to expand support to the power sector and industry, promote growth and mitigate climate-change impacts.”
The project comprises an FSRU, moored to a subsea buoy, additional infrastructure and management of a fleet of port-service vessels.