* FSRU to supply LNG to national grid by end of April - official
* Ship holds commissioning cargo from Qatar
* Country’s second FSRU could ramp up imports (Adds details on FSRU, comments from officials)
By Jessica Jaganathan and Ruma Paul
SINGAPORE/DHAKA, April 22 (Reuters) - Bangladesh’s second liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage and regasification vessel has moored off the country’s coast, the ship’s operator said on the weekend, gearing up to help supply the nation with the super-chilled fuel.
The floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) ‘Summit LNG’ is moored 6 km off the island of Moheshkhali in Cox’s Bazar, Singapore-based Summit Power International said in a statement on Saturday.
The FSRU is 75 percent owned by Summit Corp, a unit of Summit Power International, and the remaining by Japan’s Mitsubishi Corp.
Summit Power International, which owns power generation assets in Bangladesh and is owned by Bangladeshi conglomerate Summit Group, said it had chartered the vessel, which is able to regasify 500 million cubic feet of LNG a day, from U.S.-based Excelerate Energy for 15 years.
It said the ship had picked up a commissioning cargo in Qatar before sailing to Bangladesh, where it is expected to remain, and will send regasified LNG into the country through a subsea pipeline.
LNG from the FSRU is expected to be supplied to the national grid by end of the month.
“If the weather is favourable and everything goes well, then LNG can be supplied to the national grid within a week,” Mohammad Quamruzzaman, managing director of Rupantarita Prakritik Gas Co, a unit of state-owned oil firm Petrobangla, told Reuters.
An official from Petrobangla, which is in charge of LNG imports into the country, said all the connecting pipelines are not ready, and the FSRU will not yet be able to operate at maximum capacity.
The FSRU start-up date had been partially hampered by construction delays on a pipeline that will carry regasified gas from the coastal city of Chattogram, near where the FSRU is anchored, to the capital Dhaka.
About 3.75 million tonnes a year of LNG are expected to be imported through the facility, doubling the country’s LNG import capacity to 7.5 million tonnes per year once fully operational.
Bangladesh has scrapped plans to build additional floating LNG terminals in favour of land-based stations after the start-up of the country’s first FSRU was delayed by several months due to technical problems and bad weather. (Reporting by Jessica Jaganathan; Editing by Joseph Radford and Shounak Dasgupta)