The government is actively considering waiving port dues and charges for LNG (liquefied natural gas) terminals and vessels at Moheshkhali, Cox’s Bazar.
Officials concerned said the authorities are thinking of giving waiver since the dues and charges will ultimately be a burden on consumers.
But the government will attach conditions like registration of LNG carriers under law and training of local sailors to operate the vessels to the waiver facility.
Such training will help them get similar jobs abroad.
Shipping ministry officials said Moheshkhali, where two floating storage regasification units (FSRUs) exist, falls under the jurisdiction of Chittagong Port Authority (CPA).
CPA wants FSRUs and LNG carriers pay dues as per the port ordinance and in line with its tariff schedule on goods and vessels.
However, energy division seeks to waive all types of port dues and charges since the terminals and vessels need not take any service from the port authorities.
CPA has no establishment or service facility at the floating terminal. FSRU owners themselves ensure dedicated port services for LNG terminals and vessels.
Excelerate Energy Bangladesh Ltd and Summit LNG Terminal Co (Pvt) Ltd own the two FSRUs.
As per the deals with the FSRU owners, Petrobangla is responsible to pay port dues and charges.
According to sources, each LNG carrier will have to pay CPA Tk 5.0 million in port dues and charges per voyage each month.
Energy division has long been requesting shipping ministry to waive the port dues and charges in favour of the two terminal owners.
Shipping secretary Abdus Samad said a committee has been formed to examine how to make port dues from FSRUs rational, considering end-users’ interest.
“If the dues and charges are much higher, consumers will suffer ultimately,” he told the FE on Wednesday.`
Mr Samad said Bangladeshi seafarers have no skill in running LNG-carrying vessels and terminals as well.
“If the FSRU men provide training to our people, they will be able to get similar jobs abroad,” he mentioned.
“While reconsidering port dues for FSRUs and vessels, we’ll put forward the condition, Mr Samad continued.
Two FSRUs were set up in Moheshkhali to supply 1,000 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) of LNG to the national grid.
Excelerate Energy began to supply regasified LNG in August last year from its FSRU.
Later in May this year, Summit’s FSRU started supplying gas.