LPG industry growing rapidly
Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) is a rapidly growing industry in Bangladesh and the upcoming 4th Asia LPG Summit 2017 will help the companies showcase recent technologies and its various applications. This platform will provide unique experience and exchange of knowledge among the exhibitor companies that are directly and indirectly involved in the LPG business in Asia.
Bangladesh is one of the few countries that provide natural gas connections to its residential areas at a fixed monthly charge without regard to actual consumption. Bangladesh has much potential in terms of LPG consumption as only 6 percent of the entire population has access to the natural gas, mostly in urban areas. The gap between demand and supply of natural gas is widening day by day because of the massive conversion of fuel-run automobile engines into CNG-run ones and increased pressure of the growing industries and households on energy supply. The government has realised this and has been taking measures to conserve gas. One of the initiatives is to encourage the use of LPG as an alternative to natural gas for household, commercial and industrial use.
As a potential sector, we have seven major companies including BM Energy (BD) Ltd. But we need more investments in the sector to serve more households and industries as the demand is rising day by day. We are using foreign LPG technologies from different sources and will be exploring newer technologies through this regional LPG summit.
In 2016, total LPG market in Bangladesh was around 350,000 tonnes and the demand is estimated to be 500,000 tonnes this year. We also predict that the LPG market of Bangladesh will reach 1 million tonnes by 2020. Currently, the global LPG market is around 300 million tonnes, which is around 110 million tonnes in Asia Pacific region.
LPG has multiple uses. The gas is used as a fuel for many residential, commercial and agricultural heat applications, including cooking, hot water systems and heating. It is also employed as a propellant, refrigerant, vehicle fuel and petrochemical feedstock. LPG reticulation system for apartments, hotel and restaurants is now popular in urban areas as they have heavy demand for gas for cooking. Nowadays auto gas filling stations are being set up in different regions where CNG is not available. Auto gas is less expensive than CNG.