The government is buying 6,720 mmcf liquefied natural gas or LNG from the spot market to meet a supply shortage in Bangladesh.
The Cabinet Committee on Government Purchase approved power, energy and mineral resources ministry’s proposal to import the LNG from Singapore’s Vitol Asia in to phases on Wednesday.
A journalist drew Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal’s attention to allegations of bribery and manipulation against Vitol in the Americas at a press conference after the meeting. The minister said the government has the capability to protect the country’s interests while procuring goods from abroad.
An official of state company Petrobangla said a gas crisis has hit Bangladesh because the government stopped buying LNG from the world market after the price increased to around $32 per unit, although it remains below $5 in normal times.
Abu Saleh Mostafa Kamal, additional cabinet secretary, said the government is buying the LNG at $9.31 and $9.36 per unit in the two phases, or total Tk 6.23 billion.
Bangladesh has two Floating Storage Regasification Units or FSRUs that have the capacity to regasify 1,000 mmcf LNG per day and were supplying 720 mmcf LNG daily.
The rate dropped to 400 mmcf recently due to the suspension of import.
Besides the LNG import proposal, the committee cleared spending of Tk 1.92 billion for the construction of a 12-storey bachelor officers’ quarters , a 10-storey force barrack and an eight-storey mess at the Rapid Action Battalion Headquarters. Mazidsons Construction has been given the work.
Following another proposal cleared at the meeting, Bangla Builders and IJL will build a 15-storey residential building at Tk 596.3 million under a project to construct nine residential towers for the police.
In the third proposal, Padma Associates and Engineering won the job to construct two 20-storey residential buildings at Azimpur Government Staff Quarters.
The committee approved a food ministry proposal to readjust the demand for grain to 2.4 tonnes, including 1.8 million tonnes of rice and 590,000 tonnes of wheat, in the financial year 2020-21.