Bangladesh's Summit LNG to send damaged FSRU to Singapore or Middle East for repairs

Bangladesh's Summit LNG said its floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) was ready to discharge the LNG it had onboard before proceeding to Singapore or the Middle East for necessary repairs.

It hopes the FSRU, which acts as a floating LNG import terminal, can return to the country within three weeks after repairs, it said in a statement on Wednesday. A broken stray steel structure weighing "hundreds of tons" had hit the FSRU when Cyclone Remal lashed Bangladesh in May, it added, causing significant damage.

"The impact sheared the vessel's outer hull, approximately one meter below the waterline, leading to water ingress into the ballast tanks," Summit LNG said. Cyclone Remal brought gales and heavy rain to the coastlines of India and Bangladesh, leading Summit LNG to halt operations of its FSRU in Moheshkhali after it was hit by a stray pontoon on May 27.

With a regasification capacity of 500 MMft3d, the FSRU is one of Bangladesh's two floating LNG import terminals that supplies gas to the national grid.

A senior official at state-owned Petrobangla, which is tasked to import LNG for the country, said it may take time for the terminal to restart operations as technical problems remain. The halt at Summit's LNG terminal operations reduces Bangladesh's LNG send-out capacity to 600 MMft3d from 1,100 MMft3d, said Joachim Moxon, an LNG analyst at ICIS. "Assuming send-out capacity is reduced through June, it could reduce LNG imports by as much as four cargoes this month," he said.

Bangladesh's gas-fired generation, which halved on May 28-29, has since increased but remains lower than before the outage, added Moxon. "There should be enough coal and oil capacity to cover the shortfall."

With a population of more than 170 MM people, Bangladesh relies on LNG to meet power demand. Last year, the country shipped in 5.2 MMt of the fuel, up 18% from a year earlier, according to data from analytics firm Kpler.

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