Consistent with government’s policy to share the burden on conventional auto fuels, Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) has granted licenses for construction of over 150 liquid petroleum gas (LPG) auto refueling stations.
Nonetheless, compressed natural gas (CNG) station owners are disinterested to take on this business. Ghayas Paracha central chairman, All Pakistan CNG Association (APCNGA) said, “LPG refueling is an entirely different business and requires a different infrastructure, therefore we are not willing to switch to LPG despite the supply constraints with CNG.”
With more than 4,000 authorized distributors, there were 13 LPG producers, and 129 LPG marketing companies operating in the country, as of June 30, 2017.
Within the country, there are 10 operational LPG auto refueling stations, and more than 150 LPG auto refueling stations have been granted licenses for construction. In accordance with rules and regulatory framework, the licenses were awarded after fulfilment of all codal formalities, requirements and verification of the construction site by the third party inspectors. Paracha added that LPG is suitable for domestic use and it is not safe for vehicles in Pakistan because of absence of proper rules and their implementation.
In a bid to gradually phase out compressed natural gas (CNG) stations, the government was promoting LPG fueling stations, according to an official at the Ministry of Energy. LPG, at present, accounts for about 0.7 percent of the total primary energy supply in the country. The current size of LPG market is around 1.21 million tons per annum, and is primarily meant to fulfil the domestic fuel requirement, especially in natural gas starved areas and in peak shaving times in the urban territories.
The three sources of LPG supply in the country are refineries, gas producing fields and imports. Local production in Pakistan meets around 58 percent of the LPG consumed and the rest is imported. Only if the country had long-term supply contracts with other countries would the use of LPG in automobiles be possible. In case no such contracts were in place, LPG would not be available for the domestic sector after its consumption in vehicles.
Among people who live in far-flung areas and where the natural gas infrastructure does not exist, LPG is gradually becoming a popular domestic fuel. To cater for the demand supply gap of natural gas network, LPG is the most viable alternative in the winters in the current energy scenario.
Ghayas Paracha central chairman said, “OGRA anticipates a significant growth of LPG auto-refueling stations in near future. The LPG companies entitled by their memorandum and article of association are applying for a number of LPG storage and filling plants, LPG refueling stations and LPG storage facilities at the port in light of LPG Policy and Regulatory Framework.” Source: The News PWKD15052018