The government of Bangladesh is likely to finilise a policy in a week for setting up import-based Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) bottling plant in private sector amid its rising demand in the country.
After finilising the policy, their would be no barrier for the private sector to bottle LPG as many private companies are keen to invest in the sector, an Energy and Mineral Resources Division official told.
Now a number of companies including Basundhara Group, Clean Heat and TotalGaz bottle LPG along with the government to meet its rising domestic demand.
Under the policy, a private firm will have 18 months in total to set up the plant after receiving government permission, said the official. He said the companies will also have to submit progress reports on plant installation within first three months after getting government permission in this regard.
If the companies fail to fulfill the criteria then the authorities would cancel their license, he said.
"We want to widen the scope of LPG bottling in private sector as its demand is rising gradually following the government decision of not giving new gas connections for domestic uses," he said.
The companies which are sound both technically and financially, will be given permission, he said.
For installing the plants, aspirant companies must get licenses from the directorates of explosive and environment on safety and security, he added.
The permission for setting up plants will be given as per the LPG plant policy 2004, he said. The plants will be run primarily on imported gas but there will be provision for using local gas in the future, subject to its availability, according to the official.
The government decision of not permitting new gas connections for domestic consumers due to its supply shortage has apparently pushed up the LPG demand in the country, he said.
"LPG plants in the private sector will help meet the domestic energy demand," he said, adding that the government had already announced a zero duty facility for the next fiscal year to import LPG accessories to encourage the private sector. A primary survey has suggested that the demand for LPG was around one million tonnes last year. At present, total supply of LPG stands at around 80,000 tonnes, less than one-tenth of the current demand.
Of the total supply, from 50,000 to 60,000 tonnes of LPG or a total of 6.4 million LPG cylinders are imported and distributed by Basundhara Group, Clean Heat, Summit and TotalGaz.
Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) produces only 20,000 tonnes of LPG --13,500 tonnes at Eastern Refinery Limited (ERL) and the rest at Rupantarita Prakratik Gas Company Limited (RPGCL).
The government has taken a decision to increase the supply of LPG to 300,000 tonnes both in public and private sectors to meet its rising demand.
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