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Energy Investment: Entrepreneurs want arrangements for easier partnership with foreign companies

Private entrepreneurs called for policy support to make the local companies’ partnership with the foreign ones easier in different fields including oil and gas exploration.

Azam J Chowdhury, president of LPG Operators Association of Bangladesh, said this on Wednesday.

He was addressing the webinar “Role of Private Entities in the Energy Sector of Bangladesh” organised by Hydrocarbon Unit, a technical wing of the Energy and Mineral Resources Division.

Azam said the country’s energy demand would jump to cope up with the government’s target of becoming a developing country.

Appreciating the government’s move of setting up 100 economic zones, hi-tech parks and other initiatives, he said such activities would create extra demand for energy.

Azam said the public sector cannot meet this demand alone while the private sector is keen to invest. “We already invested $3.5 billion for the infrastructural development of the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) sector.”

He said the construction of Matarbari deep seaport would cut the cost of LPG import if facilities were created to anchor large LPG ship in the country.

The private sector should be allowed to import 50% of the country’s required crude petroleum and set up storage facilities, Azam, also chairman of East Coast Group, added.

The private sector could be allowed to develop infrastructures in the energy sector on build-own-operate and transfer (BOOT) basis as well, Azam suggested.

Summit Power International Director Faisal Karim Khan said the country could import natural gas at a lower price from the international market due to the government’s initiative that allowed private investment in the LNG terminal.

“If there is policy support from the government, the private sector could invest more in energy,” Faisal said.

Additional Secretary of the Energy and Mineral Resources Division Abul Monsur said the private sector entrepreneurs should have their own monitoring system to check unfair business practices.

Bashundhara LPG Division Head Jakaria Jalal said the group initiated a move to establish oil refinery and a plant for manufacturing bituminous products to meet the country’s growing demand.

Omera LPG Director Tanzeem Chowdhury said, “There are about 13 regulatory and licencing authorities. The energy companies have to take a licence from them and pay a huge amount of annual fees.”

“There should be a single regulator to monitor the sector which will ultimately cut the cost of business.”

Source: United News of Bangladesh