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State-run Bharat Petroleum Corp. Ltd (BPCL) is planning to build a terminal on the west coast to import liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), two company officials aware of the development said.
“We are looking for land on the west coast either near Kandla (in Gujarat) or somewhere close to it. We will be finalizing this in the next six months. Coastal location will be most apt for the terminal,” a BPCL official said on condition of anonymity. BPCL did not reply to an email seeking comments.
According to the second official, the terminal will have a capacity of 2 million tonnes per annum (mtpa), and will cost Rs1,000 crore. BPCL is already building an LPG import terminal in West Bengal. This April, it received environmental clearance for the Rs694 crore terminal as well as storage, bottling and bulk distribution facilities at the Haldia dock complex in West Bengal.
“In the eastern region, we faced a severe handicap as far as LPG is concerned. So, we are building an import terminal at Haldia which will help us serve the eastern market. We are also looking at putting up a similar facility on the west coast,” added the second official. He added the Haldia LPG import terminal will help BPCL serve Bihar, the north east, Jharkhand, eastern Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.
The three oil marketing companies—Indian Oil Corp. Ltd (IOCL), Bharat Petroleum Corp. Ltd (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corp. Ltd (HPCL)—are creating infrastructure in the country to meet rising demand for LPG.
At the end of FY15, demand for LPG reached a record high of 1.835 million metric tonnes (mmt), up 14.16% year-on-year, driven by the government’s push to increase LPG penetration in rural households. In March, the government launched the Ujjwala scheme wherein free LPG connections are being provided to women from low-income households.
“The Ujjwala scheme has given a push to LPG demand in the country. Thus, it is imperative for OMCs to create infrastructure. Besides, though cities are slowly graduating to piped natural gas, large geographies in the country are still heavily dependent on LPG which will push demand going forward,” said an official with a rating agency requesting anonymity.
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