The Bangladesh Shipping Corporation (BSC) is going to procure six large tankers for carrying liquid natural gas (LNG) in a move to increase the capacity of the state in managing the vital energy.
In the light of the 8th Five-Year Plan 2021-25, Vision 2041, Sustainable Development Goals 2030 and blue economy, the state-owned organisation has adopted the ship purchasing plan at an initial estimated cost of Tk10,602 crore.
Of the six tankers, two have capacity to carry approximately 140,000 cubic metres each, two approximately 174,000 cubic meters each and two approximately 180,000 cubic metres.
This information was given at the inter-ministerial meeting held on Thursday at the shipping ministry on the BSC's proposal to purchase LNG carriers.
State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury presided over the meeting.
Among others, Shipping Secretary Mezbah Uddin Chowdhury, BSC Managing Director Commodore Sumon Mahmud Sabbir, Joint Secretary Energy and Mineral Resources Division Sheikh Akhtar Hossain, Petrobangla Director Ali Mohammad Al Mamun, Managing Director of Rupantarita Prakritik Gas Company Limited Jabed Chowdhury were present.
Thursday's inter-ministerial meeting was held in the light of the decision taken on 25 January on the proposal to receive financial assistance from foreign companies for the purchase of LNG tankers.
In view of setting up of two LNG terminals and one or more land-based LNG terminals near Maheshkhali Island, the project of purchasing LNG tankers was taken up.
The ships will be able to transport about 19 million cubic meters of LNG a year. The capacity of the state in LNG transportation, operation, and management will increase and dependency on foreign ships will decrease. Fuel security will be largely ensured. It will be possible to ensure economic development in the maritime sector by creating skilled manpower and creating job opportunities, said officials.
Fourteen companies from several countries have expressed interest in providing financial assistance for the procurement of LNG tankers.
Earlier in 2018 and 2019, the government procured six ships from China at a cost of Tk1,537 crore with the financial support of the country to make the BSC a profitable institution.