The ship carrying Bangladesh's first import consignment of liquefied natural gas has anchored in the Bay of Bengal, with the help of which LNG supply to the national grid is scheduled to begin next month.
The vessel—Excellence—which brought in 1.37 lakh cubic feet of LNG from Qatar will be permanently attached with the base station or the LNG terminal.
Excellence will also work as a floating storage and re-gasification unit. Gas will be stored here for import through other vessels later.
Another week is required to prepare the base station to start gas commissioning, said Md Tajul Islam, chairman of the parliamentary standing committee on power, energy and mineral resources ministry.
He spoke to reporters while visiting the base station and the vessel yesterday.
A 29-member team, including Nazimuddin Chowdhury, energy secretary; Salman F Rahman, private sector development adviser of Awami League President Sheikh Hasina, and Paban Chowdhury, executive chairman of Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority, accompanied Islam.
Initially, the gas would be supplied to users in Chittagong.
The construction of the 91-km pipeline connecting Anwara upazila in Chittagong with the LNG terminal in the Bay is complete.
A 30-km pipeline from Karnaphuli to Sitakunda is being set up to supply the imported gas to the national grid.
Islam said many factories were closed due to lack of adequate gas supply.
With the import of gas, closed factories will reopen and setting up of new ones will get momentum, he said.
Besides Qatar, talks are underway to import LNG from Indonesia and Australia, said Md Quamruzzaman,
managing director of Rupantarita Prakritik Gas Company Ltd.
About 500 million cubic feet of gas per day can be supplied from the country's first LNG terminal.
On the safety of the vessel and the LNG terminal, Rear Admiral M Ashraful Haque, Bangladesh Navy's fleet commander, said the Navy ensures safety of all types of ships when they enter Bangladesh waters.
After the entry of Excellence on April 24, four ships and water vessels of the Navy have been working round the clock to provide safety to the vessel, he said.