Bangladesh rocked by power cuts as deadly cyclone hits gas supply
DHAKA — Bangladesh faced its worst power cuts in over seven months as a deadly storm forced both its floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals shut, less than a month after a scorching heatwave caused widespread outages in the south Asian country.
Millions of Bangladeshi citizens have been hit by frequent power cuts in recent months, as erratic weather patterns and high global energy prices have made fuel supply to power plants unreliable.
Natural gas accounts for over half of Bangladesh’s annual power output, and the energy hungry nation is increasingly exposed to price and supply-related shocks, as its domestic gas reserves have dwindled rapidly over the past few years.
Power supply was about 17% short of demand on Monday while the deficit was more than 14% on Sunday, data from Bangladesh’s grid operator showed. The worst shortages were witnessed after midnight, the data showed.
Bangladesh’s Summit LNG terminal, which resumed operations late on Monday, will boost supplies by two-thirds to 500 million standard cubic feet per day (mmscfd) on Tuesday, the chairman of its national gas company said.
Bangladesh’s other floating LNG unit, the Moheshkhali LNG terminal, will resume operations “in the next few days,” Petrobangla Chairman Zanendra Nath Sarker told Reuters.
Resumption of supply from the terminals is expected to provide a respite from power cuts, before temperatures start soaring in the latter half of the peak summer month of May, potentially further straining the grid.
The Moheshkhali LNG terminal was built by Excelerate Energy, while the Summit project was built by the Summit Group. Both terminals are jointly operated with Petrobangla.
Three vessels imported by Petrobangla due to arrive this week have been delayed due to inclement weather, Mr. Sarker said. The first vessel will arrive on May 18 instead of May 13. Two others which had been due on May 16 and May 20 have been delayed, he said, without providing more details.
Data from analytics firm Kpler showed two cargoes were scheduled to arrive this week at the Chittagong port as a part of Petrobangla’s long-term contract with Qatargas, while another spot cargo was located just off the coast of Bangladesh. — Reuters