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Elite Company joins LPG race

Elite Company has been granted permission to distribute Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) in Myanmar, director of State-owned Myanma Petrochemical Enterprise (MPE) U Aung Myint told The Myanmar Times after a press conference on October 12.

LPG is a flammable mixture of hydrocarbon gases used as a substitute for electricity in cooking.

Elite Company will start importing LPG by the end of this year, after construction of its LPG storage tank and jetty at the Thilawa Special Economic Zone (SEZ) is complete. After safety inspections are carried out by the Ministry of Electricity and Energy (MOEE), it will issue the relevant license permitting Elite Company to import and distribute LPG.

“We’ve reached most of agreements for signing contract. But we will need to negotiate further for details,” said U Aung Myint.

Owned by the son of Pyithu Hluttaw speaker Thura Shwe Mann, Elite Company is the second company that has been granted permission to import and distribute LPG in the country in recent months.

Last month, State-owned Parami Energy Service Co beat nine other firms to win the rental tender for the government’s No.1 Refinery in Thanlyin. Unlike Elite Company, which is building its own storage facilities, Parami Energy is hiring a government-owned storage tank and jetty for K6.4 billion under a one-year contract.

A third firm, APEX Co, already has a jetty and has recently been permitted to do business, U Myint Aung said. After getting a recommendation from the Yangon Region Government, the firm will start implementing its operations. The government is currently considering allowing another firm, Myanmar LPG Company, to begin operations, The Myanmar Times understands

Replacing electricity

The government is aiming to replace electricity with LPG as a fuel for household cooking. If widely used, LPG can reduce the use of firewood as well as electricity, which will help to conserve the environment

Currently, the peak hours for electricity consumption are from 4 pm to 8 pm, and this is mainly due to cooking, U Aung Myint said. If LPG is used, it can reduce electricity utilization during those hours. “Even if it is a little more expensive than electricity, for fast cooking, people will prefer LPG.” he continued.

“Elite Company is already started conducting market surveys. As the market becomes more competitive with more players in the market, the price will also fall,” he said.

There are three state-owned LPG stations and more than 100 private LPG stations in Myanmar. There are three local LPG producing plants at Minbu, Kyunchaung, and Thapayarkan in Magway Region.

Parami Energy will begin distributing LPG for cooking in December. Its target is to distribute 4,000 tonnes of LPG to 150,000 families in Yangon.

There are also LPG distributers in Yangon which import LPG from the Thai border. This will all help bring down prices and enable the public to affordably use LPG, said MOEE Deputy Permanent Secretary U Htay Aung.

The MOEE aims to supply LPG for cooking to 1.5 million households by 2020. Each household will receive 25 kilograms of LPG at K1,000 per kilogram, according to media reports.

Source : Myanmar Times

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