Chevron Bangladesh President Geoffrey Strong said, Bangladesh really offers some of the best business opportunities in the world. GDP growth was 6.3% last year with foreign direct investment over $1 billion for the second time in the country’s history. Companies that can manage the challenges can do very well in Bangladesh. As an employee of an American company that is now the largest foreign investor in Bangladesh, I can say with confidence that Bangladesh is a great place for U.S. businesses to grow.
Geoffrey Strong was speaking of the 22nd US Trade Show at Ruposhi Bangla Hotel Thursday.
He said, Chevron has grown production 10 fold in the last 10 year, and now produces around 50% of the nation’s total gas supply. We understand how important the supply of gas is for generation of low cost power that enables all our businesses to prosper in Bangladesh. Chevron increased production by 125 mmcfd last year compared to the prior year. That’s enough new gas to supply six 100 MW power plants. But there is more good news coming. In July we made a decision to invest another $500 MM as part of the Bibiyana Expansion project which will increase our production by another 300 mmcfd before the end of next year.
Geoffrey Stron said, Achieving this higher production will require the construction of a new pipeline from the Bibiyana gas field towards Dhaka to a place called Dhanua. Petrobangla’s subsidiary GTCL is working hard to complete this pipeline to be ready for our expansion project, and we have confidence they are going to get it done in time for our expansion. Despite all the good progress on the Bibiyana expansion and new pipeline there is much more that can be done to increase the supply of low cost domestically produced natural gas to the nation.
He said Remember domestically produced gas is currently less than 20% the cost of imported fuel such as furnace oil, diesel or LNG. But increasing the supply of domestically produced natural gas will require a step change increase in investments.
Geoffrey Stron said, The current offshore bid round is a good first step. But we suggest Government improve fiscal terms to make investments feasible at today’s costs. We also suggest the Government open up onshore acreage to harness the full organizational capacity of not only Bapex, but also other companies like Chevron that can do more to help solve the energy crisis. Ultimately, we believe these simple strategies will lead to increased energy supplies that will fuel the growth of the economy and business in Bangladesh.
Chevron Bangladesh has been participating in the U.S. Trade Show over the past thirteen years. This year, US Trade Show will continue from February 14th to February 16th at the Ruposhi Bangla hotel, Dhaka. The event, co-sponsored by the American Chamber of Commerce in Bangladesh and the American Embassy, will be officially inaugurated on its opening day by the US Ambassador Dan W. Mozena and the Commerce Minister Ghulam Muhammad Quader as the chief guest.