Bangladesh scraps 15-year LNG supply deal with Swiss trader
DHAKA (Reuters) - Bangladesh has scrapped a liquefied natural gas (LNG) supply deal with Swiss energy trader AOT Energy, which had been close to being finalised, an official said on Friday. Bangladesh and AOT agreed a deal in February 2018 for the supply of 1.25 million tonnes per year (mtpa) for 15 years but it was not signed
DHAKA (Reuters) - Bangladesh has scrapped a liquefied natural gas (LNG) supply deal with Swiss energy trader AOT Energy, which had been close to being finalised, an official said on Friday.
Bangladesh and AOT agreed a deal in February 2018 for the supply of 1.25 million tonnes per year (mtpa) for 15 years but it was not signed. Since then, the country has installed its first import terminal and received its first cargoes, while prices seesawed.
"The deal with AOT will not be signed," said Mohammad Quamruzzaman, managing director of the Rupantarita Prakritik Gas Co., which is in charge of LNG supplies to the country. "The decision has already been conveyed to them."
He did not give a reason for scrapping the agreement. AOT, controlled by the investment vehicle of the late Belgian Baron Albert Frere, did not respond to requests for comments.
A senior official in state-owned energy company Petrobangla said AOT could still supply Bangladesh on the spot market.
"We didn't want to go ahead with them for a long-term deal ... But they have been shortlisted for spot LNG purchases," the official said.
Bangladesh has a 2.5 mtpa deal with Qatar which supplies the first terminal, the Moheshkhali floating storage regasification unit (FSRU), and a 1 mtpa deal with Oman will kick in once a second FSRU starts operations in March this year.
The nation of 160 million is expected to become a major LNG importer in Asia, alongside Pakistan and India, as domestic gas supplies fall.
But it has tempered its initial enthusiasm. Officials at one point were considering half a dozen import projects but have since pared the list down.
A government source said Bangladesh had taken on too many LNG projects without proper planning.
Bangladesh has imported 0.7 million tonnes, or 12 cargoes, since the first FSRU began regular operations in September, according to Refinitiv Eikon data. All of them came from Qatar.
When the second FSRU beings operations, Bangladesh will have an import capacity of 7.5 mtpa although it is expected to import 2.9 mtpa this year and 4.6 mtpa next, according to Wood Mackenzie estimates.
Bangladesh pays Qatar 12.64 percent of the three-month average of Brent crude oil plus $0.5 per million British thermal units (mmBtu) and Oman 11.9 percent of the three-month Brent crude average plus $0.4 per mmBtu.
(Reporting by Ruma Paul; Writing by Sabina Zawadzki; Editing by Edmund Blair)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.