Bangladesh eyes JV with Qatar to build 1,000 MW gas-fired power plant

Bangladesh is hoping to build a 1,000 MW gas-fired power plant in the Moheskhali islands in the Bay of Bengal in a joint venture with LNG-rich Qatar, Bangladesh Power Development Board Chairman ASM Alamgir Kabir told Platts Monday.

The country’s power ministry raised the issue with Qatar’s Assistant Minister for International Cooperation Affairs Sheikh Ahmed Bin Mohammed Bin Jabr Al-Thani during his official visit to Dhaka last week. The Qatari minister responded positively and said he would look at the proposal seriously, Kabir said.

Bangladesh is planning a floating LNG import terminal with a capacity to handle 5 million mt/year of LNG, regasification capacity of at least 500,000 Mcf/d and berthing and mooring facilities for LNG ships with a capacity of 138,000-260,000 cubic meters at Moheskhali.

Four groups short-listed to build the terminal on a build-own-operate- transfer basis for 15 years — Bermuda-based Golar LNG Energy, a consortium of US’ Astra Oil and Excelerate Energy, South Korea’s Samsung C&T Corp. and India’s Hiranandani Electricity — are set to submit final bids by June 11.

If a JV between Bangladesh and Qatar were to be established, it would help utilize the LNG terminal and ease Bangladesh’s mounting electricity crisis, Kabir said.

Bangladesh in January 2011 signed a memorandum of understanding to import 4 million mt/year of LNG from Qatar Petroleum, and its private sector is now able to import LNG under a recent import policy change.

Bangladesh is battling an acute natural gas and electricity crisis, with gas output hovering around 2.17 Bcf/d against demand for over 2.5 Bcf/d, and electricity generation hovering at 5.5 GW against the demand for over 6.5 GW.

–Mohammad Azizur Rahman,

–Edited by Wendy Wells,