Bangladesh is a very interesting and appealing market for LPG. First, the presence and affordability of piped natural gas in the domestic market has made LPG more of an alternative product in the past 15-20 years. Because of the use of natural gas, the LPG consumption per capita is very low compared to other South Asian countries. So, the future LPG market potential is very high here as the average income level per family has been growing constantly for years.
In addition to the LPG use in households, there are huge prospects of LPG in the automobile sector because it has a significant advantage over CNG. Also, Bangladesh government has already published the basic rules and regulations for auto LPG stations and auto LPG conversion centres in a bid to promote LPG use. I hope the auto LPG conversion workshop will start its operation soon to convert the CNG-driven vehicles into LPG-driven ones. If all the stakeholders work together, auto LPG will play a significant role in the future fuel-mix of Bangladesh.
The government has published all the rules and regulations for storage, import and distribution of LPG. I am confident that the new rules will ensure the safety and protection of the LPG industry and its users. On the other hand, it is also needed to focus on monitoring so that the rules are implemented properly. As the market will continue to grow and the needs of the industry will change, the rules can always be updated for convenience of all stakeholders.
Also, there are challenges for developing a sustainable LPG market in Bangladesh. Of which, affordability is the biggest challenge. If international LPG prices go up significantly, it can affect the growth of the market in the country.
Inadequate infrastructure is another challenge for the growth of the LPG industry in the country. The industry needs enough storage and bottling capacity at different places. Improvement in the existing road networks across the country will also help ensure that the LPG products reach consumers safely and promptly.