The LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas) industry in the country has witnessed tremendous growth and this is set to continue. India had 3.81 crore consumers of LPG in 1999 a number that stands at 12.20 crore today. This is on account of the increase in the pace of regular release of new LPG connections in the country. Now the government is planning to expand this base yet further.
This and other facts and figures were revealed by Murli Deora, Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas in the city on Friday. “We plan that piped gas will be available in at least 20 to 25 cities,” Deora said. He however did not provide any timeframe for the supply. However, there appears to be quite some time left as the bids are yet to be called. “The EGOM (Empowered Group of Ministers) meeting is not finalized,” the minister said.
About 86 lakh LPG connections were released in 2009-10 and 57.5 lakh connections as of November 1(current year), including 23.6 lakh connections in under-served areas.
With more than 55% of the population using LPG as cooking gas, the three Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) are home-delivering 25 lakh cylinders daily through a network of over 9,700 distributors. The supplies are maintained by 182 LPG bottling plants, involving over 20,000 packed cylinder trucks and over 1,500 bulk LPG trucks on a daily basis.
Under Vision-2015, the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has ambitious plans for further expansion of LPG marketing, to increase the reach of LPG to 16 crore households by the year 2015, covering 75% of the population.
The priority sectors for LPG distribution would be for domestic use as well as the fertilizer sectors. While the power sectors is also a priority sector for gas supply. Deora however refused various requests to elaborate further.
LPG is currently a deficit product and is being partly imported from abroad.