SINGAPORE/DHAKA, Sept 24 (Reuters) - Bangladesh has dropped
a plan to renew oil-fired power plants and is turning to import
gas, buying its most expensive liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargo
in its history, industry sources told Reuters on Friday.
Bangladesh scrapped a plan to renew the lease of five
oil-fired power plants nearing expiry, after finding that it was
not cost-effective to do so, an official from the power
ministry, who declined to be identified, told Reuters.
The official did not provide further details.
The South Asian country bought an LNG cargo for delivery in
late September from commodity trader Vitol at $29.89 per million
British thermal units (mmBtu), the highest price it has paid for
LNG, three sources said.
This is also one of the most expensive cargoes to trade
globally since early this year when a cold winter sent prices
surging to more than $30 per mmBtu.
Bangladesh will need to buy two more LNG cargoes for
delivery in October from the spot market, with both tenders
expected to open next week, one of the sources said.
"The skyrocketing prices of oil and LNG came as a shock to
us," said Anisur Rahman, senior secretary of Energy and Mineral
Resources Division, adding that the government was finding it
difficult to ensure energy supplies to industries.
"It is hurting us. It is hurting everyone around the world.
But we can't sit idle. We need to buy LNG to keep the industries
running," he told Reuters.
(Reporting by Jessica Jaganathan in Singapore and Ruma Paul in
Editing by Shri Navaratnam, Robert Birsel)