Jakarta. Bangladesh's Petrobangla is in discussions with Indonesia's Pertamina to import more than 1 million tons of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the state energy company as early as 2018, a Petrobangla official said on Friday (15/09).
Bangladesh expects to sign its first ever LNG import deal in Qatar later this month to help cover a shortfall of domestic natural gas, underscoring the rise of South Asia as a new market for the fuel.
Petrobangla is finalizing several floating storage and regasification units, the first of which is expected to commence operations in April 2018, said Petrobangla chairman Abul Mansur Md Faizullah in Jakarta on Friday. The state company is in discussions with several potential LNG suppliers.
"At present we're with Pertamina. We haven't decided it yet," Faizullah told reporters, referring to the potential deal with Indonesia's national oil and gas company.
"The initial perception is it might be 1 million tons per year," he said. Petrobangla is seeking about 7 million tons per year of LNG from next year from several sources, he said.
Under an initial agreement signed by the energy ministers of both countries on Friday, Indonesia will continue discussions with Bangladesh to develop LNG infrastructure in the South Asian country, and potentially supply LNG to Bangladesh.
"Bangladesh is going hungry for the energy day by day," said Nasrul Hamid, Bangladesh's minister for electricity, energy and mineral resources.
"We're looking for more opportunities in LNG," Hamid said.
Pertamina Gas Director Yenni Andayani said the agreement was "just the beginning, opening opportunities to develop business."
Bangladesh, a country of more than 160 million people, may import as much as 17.5 million tonnes of LNG a year by 2025, as its domestic gas reserves dwindle and demand grows.