Despite suspension of liquefied natural gas (LNG) import from international spot market, the government has decided to increase the number of listed LNG suppliers.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs in a virtual meeting, with Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal in the chair, approved a proposal of the Energy and Mineral Resources Division in this regard on Thursday.
The new eight companies which were added to the existing list of 16 companies are LNG Japan Corporation, Japan; Socar Trading UK Ltd; POSCO International Corporation, Korea; Qatar Energy Trading LLC; Inpex Corporation, Japan; Pavilion Energy Trading and Supply Pte Ltd, Singapore; PetroChina International Pte Ltd, Singapore; and PTT International Trading Pte Ltd, Singapore.
However, it is not clear whether the government will withdraw suspension on import immediately or not.
The government earlier suspended the import of LNG from international spot market in July following the excessive hike in prices against the backdrop of the Russia-Ukraine war.
Before the war, Bangladesh was purchasing LNG from the spot market between $6-10 per MMBtu. After start of the war in February this year, the price crossed $37 per MMBtu.
Now again the price took a declining trend in recent month. Last month, the price came down below $24 per MMBtu.
Beside the import of LNG from spot market, Bangladesh has long term contract with Qatar and Kuwait to import the gas relatively at much lower price which varies between $11-17 per MMBtu in recent years depending on the price of liquid fuel on the international market.