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Excelerate lands finance for Bangladesh LNG project

Wed 12 Jul 2017 by Karen Thomas

Excelerate lands finance for Bangladesh LNG project
Bangladesh should import its first LNG cargoes next summer (credit: Nicolas Raymond)

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.