The Prime Minister’s Office has sought the views of the External Affairs and Petroleum Ministries on a private sector player’s proposal for putting in place strategic gas grid connectivity between India and Bangladesh and also building a floating LNG terminal near Chittagong.
In a note to both Ministries, the PMO has forwarded the proposal by H-Energy East Coast Pvt Ltd (HEECPL) to transport gas from its proposed LNG import terminal facility in Digha in West Bengal to Jessore in Bangladesh.
The copy of the letter by the former GAIL chairman and managing director, Proshanto Banerjee, now advisor (Business Development) HEECPL, a Hiranandani Group company, has been forwarded to the National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon.
Bangladesh, which is experiencing a shortfall of 500 million cubic feet of gas a day, proposes to set up a floating import terminal close to Chittagong to handle around 5 million tonne per annum of LNG.
In his presentation, Proshanto Banerjee, a former GAIL Chairman and Managing Director and now advisor (Business Development), HEECPL, has said the the four-million tonne per annum floating LNG terminal, being promoted by the Hiranandani Group company in the offshore Digha region, . is expected to be operational by 2015. It is intended this facility will supply gas to West Bengal, Jharkhand and Bihar and some northern States through the proposed Haldia-Jagdihspur pipeline of GAIL India and also connect Kolkata.
'Since Kolkata is about 80 km from Indo-Bangladesh border at Petropol, it should be readily feasible to extend the Haldia-Jagdishpur pipeline to Petropol from Kolkata and further down Petrapol is about 46 km from the gas grid of Bangladesh passing through Jessore.
Cost effective option
It is argued that this would enable PetroBangla to import LNG from a source of its choice at a competitive price and have it re-gasified in the facility planned by HEECPL in the Bay of Bengal. Bangladesh could take delivery of the gas at Petrapol border, a cost-effective option.
'The Bangladesh government is very keen on this proposal. We have met officials of PetroBangla and discussed it with the Bangladesh Secretary Energy and Mineral Resources, The Ministry of Finance and Ministry of External Affairs of Bangladesh who are very positive on this proposal,' Mr. Banerjee said. The company has sought the government’s permission to engage with PetroBangla for a commercial dialogue to avail LNG regasification capacity of Petrobangla in the project being promoted by HEECPL.