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Bangladesh Receives First Imported LNG from Qatar
Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Excelerate Energy's floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) Excellence arrived at Bangladesh's Moheshkhali Port on April 23 bringing with it a commissioning cargo from Qatar. 

The $180 million project was co-developed by Petrobangla, Excelerate Energy and the International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group.

“Bangladesh suffers from two crippling energy shortages: electricity and gas,” says Wood Mackenzie's director of gas and LNG research Nicholas Browne. “Grid based power shortages result in load shedding and expensive diesel generation. Meanwhile, residential, CNG, industrial and power users all struggle to access as much gas as required, while domestic gas has already started to decline. Pipeline pressure is frequently very low. 

“Combined, these gas and power shortages impact economic growth. The introduction of LNG into the fuel mix is a critical step in overcoming these challenges. As Bangladesh has a non-investment grade credit rating, international financing agency support was crucial to enable the project to go ahead.”

The FSRU has an annual capacity of 3.8mt. Excelerate Energy will operate the terminal for 15 years receiving a fee of $90 million per year. After this, ownership will transfer to Petrobangla. An onshore gas pipeline connects the FSRU to the main demand center in Chittagong, the second largest city in Bangladesh. There, it will supply existing power plants currently running short of gas.

QatarGas will supply 1.8 mmtpa of LNG between 2018 and 2022 and 2.5 mmtpa of LNG between 2023 and 2032. “FSRUs, new LNG markets and Qatari LNG seem to go hand in hand,” says Browne. “Qatar also supplied the first cargoes via FSRU to Jordan and Pakistan.”

This is the first step of a significant ramp up of LNG in Bangladesh, he says. The country's second terminal is expected to start up in 2019. It is also a 3.8 mmtpa Excelerate FSRU which will be located at Moheshkhali. 

Beyond this several other projects and LNG contracts are gaining momentum. In December 2017, financing was approved for a terminal and a 750 MW power plant by Reliance Energy. In January 2018, Bangladesh Power Development Board signed an MoU With Pertamina to develop 1.4 GW of new gas-fired capacity, together with a dedicated FSRU and related LNG supply. Then in March 2018, Summit Power, Mitsubishi and Diamond Gas agreed an MoU to construct a terminal and 2.4 GW of power capacity. Meanwhile PetroBangla has agreed several supply MoUs, including with AOT, Gunvor, Oman LNG and Pertamina.

“The longer-term fundamentals for LNG in Bangladesh look sound,” says Browne. “Domestic gas production is expected to decline by over 25 percent by 2025. As such we expect LNG demand to rise to 11mt by 2025, and there is still market available to suppliers. Key risks to LNG demand will come from concerns around the affordability of an increasingly LNG based power sector. This may lead the government to renew its push to build more coal capacity.”




Bangladesh Receives First Imported LNG from Qatar
Wednesday, April 25, 2018




Bangladesh Receives First Imported LNG from Qatar
Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Excelerate Energy's floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) Excellence arrived at Bangladesh's Moheshkhali Port on April 23 bringing with it a commissioning cargo from Qatar. 

The $180 million project was co-developed by Petrobangla, Excelerate Energy and the International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group.

“Bangladesh suffers from two crippling energy shortages: electricity and gas,” says Wood Mackenzie's director of gas and LNG research Nicholas Browne. “Grid based power shortages result in load shedding and expensive diesel generation. Meanwhile, residential, CNG, industrial and power users all struggle to access as much gas as required, while domestic gas has already started to decline. Pipeline pressure is frequently very low. 

“Combined, these gas and power shortages impact economic growth. The introduction of LNG into the fuel mix is a critical step in overcoming these challenges. As Bangladesh has a non-investment grade credit rating, international financing agency support was crucial to enable the project to go ahead.”

The FSRU has an annual capacity of 3.8mt. Excelerate Energy will operate the terminal for 15 years receiving a fee of $90 million per year. After this, ownership will transfer to Petrobangla. An onshore gas pipeline connects the FSRU to the main demand center in Chittagong, the second largest city in Bangladesh. There, it will supply existing power plants currently running short of gas.

QatarGas will supply 1.8 mmtpa of LNG between 2018 and 2022 and 2.5 mmtpa of LNG between 2023 and 2032. “FSRUs, new LNG markets and Qatari LNG seem to go hand in hand,” says Browne. “Qatar also supplied the first cargoes via FSRU to Jordan and Pakistan.”

This is the first step of a significant ramp up of LNG in Bangladesh, he says. The country's second terminal is expected to start up in 2019. It is also a 3.8 mmtpa Excelerate FSRU which will be located at Moheshkhali. 

Beyond this several other projects and LNG contracts are gaining momentum. In December 2017, financing was approved for a terminal and a 750 MW power plant by Reliance Energy. In January 2018, Bangladesh Power Development Board signed an MoU With Pertamina to develop 1.4 GW of new gas-fired capacity, together with a dedicated FSRU and related LNG supply. Then in March 2018, Summit Power, Mitsubishi and Diamond Gas agreed an MoU to construct a terminal and 2.4 GW of power capacity. Meanwhile PetroBangla has agreed several supply MoUs, including with AOT, Gunvor, Oman LNG and Pertamina.

“The longer-term fundamentals for LNG in Bangladesh look sound,” says Browne. “Domestic gas production is expected to decline by over 25 percent by 2025. As such we expect LNG demand to rise to 11mt by 2025, and there is still market available to suppliers. Key risks to LNG demand will come from concerns around the affordability of an increasingly LNG based power sector. This may lead the government to renew its push to build more coal capacity.”




Russia and China Boost Cooperation
Wednesday, April 25, 2018




Russia and China Boost Cooperation
Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Russia and China have recently conducted combined naval exercises in the South China Sea, the Baltic Sea and the Sea of Japan, and on Tuesday China said it will continue to strengthen military to military relations with Russia to address new security challenges in the world.

Air Force General Xu Qiliang, vice chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remark while meeting with Russia's defense minister Sergey Shoygu in Beijing. He said the Sino-Russian relationship has reached new heights.

At the moment, new security challenges and issues are emerging due to growing uncertainties around the world, Xu said. Therefore, China is willing to deepen mutual support with Russia. In turn, Shoygu said Russia prioritizes strengthening its comprehensive strategic partnership with China.

A week prior, Novikov Dmitrii, Director of the China Division in the Social Conservative Policy Centre of the United Russia Party, and Executive Deputy Director Chen Bangzhong met with managers from China's Silk Road Chamber of International Commerce to discuss construction of a Russia-China cultural and commercial center, an international logistics center, the building of highways, high-speed rail, light rail and power plants, and projects in energy, minerals and agriculture.

“Altogether, cooperation between Moscow and Beijing is more significant than at any time since the Mao-Khrushchev split more than half a century ago,” says Hal Brands, Henry A. Kissinger Distinguished Professor at Johns Hopkins University.

Brands told Bloomberg that a full-blown military alliance remains a long way off but there is an ominous feature of world politics today: the growing alignments between America’s various geopolitical rivals.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Vice Chief of Naval Operations, Vice Adm. Bill Moran, told an audience at the annual Navy League Sea Air Space Symposium that there needs to be an intense and concentrated effort to speed up weapons and technology acquisition for the specific purpose of countering massive military gains by both Russia and China.

“We need to scale up in a wildly unpredictable environment, as we see the reemergence of true existential threats. We face a new era of great power competition,” he said.




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