Gas-starved Bangladesh, one of the fastest growing LNG markets in Asia

SINGAPORE (ICIS) — ICIS is expanding its LNG
demand forecast to rising markets in South Asia
and the Middle East. The most recent addition
is Bangladesh.

A new-comer to the LNG market, Bangladesh added
7.5mtpa in import capacity between August 2018
and April 2019. It rose fast to become the
second biggest growth market in Asia in 2019,
second only to China, absorbing close to 4m
tonnes in its first year as LNG importer.

The country is now moving into its second stage
of LNG imports, taking its first spot cargo in
September and planning to take two additional
cargoes each month from December 2020.

With domestic gas production moving into
decline in coming years, Bangladesh is expected
to continue to increase LNG imports to cover
supply shortages amid rising gas demand.

The government is also putting the brakes on
plans to build coal-fired power plants and
calling instead for LNG-based projects. The
800MW Rupsha Combined Cycle Power Plant will be
the first to be built on the basis of LNG
imports, with several other projects in the
pipeline. ICIS expects coal to make a small
dent in gas-to-power demand in the fiscal year
ending 30 June 2021, but with gas-fired
generation returning to a growth path in
subsequent years.

There is also significant latent demand in the
industry and fertilizer, with ICIS projecting
LNG imports to enable double-digit percentage
growth in these sectors.

Bangladesh has the eighth largest population
and is one of the most densely populated
countries in the world. Its fast-growing
economy is also shifting from agriculture to
manufacturing and services, with energy
security a focal point in the government’s
ambition to sustain growth.

Longer-term, the country is planning to double
its LNG import capacity with a 7.5mtpa onshore
terminal, though progress was unclear at the
time of writing.

ICIS LNG demand forecasts for Pakistan,
Kuwait, Malaysia and Indonesia are also
recently live in LNG Edge. The LNG
Edge Demand Forecast
is a rolling 24-month
forecast which reacts to new market
developments as they happen.

ICIS already forecasts LNG demand for
Japan, China, South Korea, India and Taiwan. We
will be looking to roll-out Bahrain, UAE,
Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar and the
Philippines in the coming months.


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