Bangladesh's Petrobangla cancels LNG spot cargo deliveries

Bangladesh's Petrobangla has canceled some spot liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports after one of the country's two import terminals was damaged during a cyclone, leaving it unable to receive shipments.

The state-owned group is tasked with importing LNG for Bangladesh, which relies on the fuel to meet power demand for its population of more than 170 MM people.

Summit LNG, the operator of the damaged terminal, told Petrobangla that it had declared force majeure on LNG deliveries after its terminal was damaged.

In late May, Summit LNG paused operations at its floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) in Moheshkhali after it was significantly damaged during a cyclone. The company later said the FSRU, which acts as a floating terminal, would proceed to Singapore or the Middle East for repairs, and that it hoped it could return to Bangladesh within three weeks of those being completed.

Due to Summit's terminal outage, Petrobangla canceled four spot cargoes scheduled for delivery from late May to around mid-June, a senior Petrobangla official said on Tuesday. Three of the spot cargoes were set to be delivered by Gunvor in late May and between June 7 and 11, and the fourth by QatarEnergy between June 19 and June 21, added the official.

Summit LNG and QatarEnergy did not immediately respond to a request for comment on a public holiday in Bangladesh and Qatar. Gunvor declined to comment.

Summit's FSRU is one of Bangladesh's two floating LNG import terminals, with a regasification capacity of 500 MMft3d, that supplies gas to the national grid. It began commercial operations in April 2019.

Summit had entered a 15-yr charter agreement with U.S.-based Excelerate Energy in 2017 for the FSRU. Excelerate Energy said in a statement on Tuesday night that the FSRU began its journey to a Southeast Asian shipyard facility for repairs on June 12, and is committed to returning it to service in Bangladesh by end-July.

LSEG data showed the FSRU is estimated to arrive in Singapore on June 19.

Bangladesh has seen annual LNG imports increase, and last year shipped in 5.2 metric MMt of the fuel, according to data from analytics firm Kpler.

It has imported 2.6 metric MMt of LNG so far this year, with May shipment volumes reaching an all-time monthly record of 600,000 metric t.

(Reporting by Ruma Paul in Dhaka and Emily Chow in Singapore; Editing by Kirsten Donovan, Jan Harvey and Sherry Jacob-Phillips)


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