G-Gas and its involvement in LPG Distribution in Bangladesh
Assistant General Manager & Head of G-Gas
ENERGYPAC POWER GENERATION
Assistant General Manager of Energypac Power Generation and Head of G-Gas in Bangladesh, Naweed Rashid, discusses G-Gas involvement in distributing LPG across the country and its plans for the future.
How popular is G-Gas in Bangladesh?
G-Gas i slowly gaining popularity and we are giving it our all to establish this LPG brand. At the moment, we cannot yet declare or say how far the brand will go. However, the brand we are creating is to show people that we are aware of the needs in our society, and how public awareness will result in progress towards a cleaner and healthier Bangladesh. If you look at our Facebook Page or any of our other marketing initiatives, you will notice that we are not directly asking people to buy G-Gas. Our marketing strategy is all about building public awareness for the society that we live in to promote the people and to promote the society. Our tag line is “valo thakun, valo rakhun”, in English this means “stay well and keep well”, so we are trying to do so.
The consumption of LPG in 2018 is 750,000 Metric Tonnes (MTs) and it is expected to grow to 2,000,000 MTs by 2025. To meet this increasing demand, we have one terminal in Khulna, and another one in Dhaka. In the near future we are planning to build more in different regions to make sure the product is available to the masses, and available at the cheapest rate.
We are not the only company working towards fulfilling this increase in demand. There are around 14 other companies operating as of today and 5 or 6 more, are due to commence operations soon. We can only fulfil a certain portion of the consumer demand, and it is hard to predict how much we will be able to cover in the future. What is certain though, is that G-Gas availability must always be ensured and that our end consumers do not suffer from lack of supply.
How can we create a more eco-friendly and greener environment in Bangladesh?
In comparison with coal or firewood, LPG is much more eco-friendly. In the case of coal or firewood, it creates smoke, fly ash, bottom ash, and other nasty exhaust, which leads to many chronic pulmonary diseases. Plus, it has negative environmental effects when trees are cut down or coal mining is required.
Question is, how many trees will you cut and/or how long can we keep doing this? At one stage there will be no more trees left to cut down, and this resource will deplete. However, people are realizing the importance of trees to the environment and how it helps our eco-system. The best factor is that Bangladesh is moving ahead with economic development thus increasing people’s affordability. Though it’s true that LPG is not yet readily available, usage has increased in the past 5 years.
The people of Bangladesh are getting more aware day by day of how we can have sustainable development through the use of LPG. As a stakeholder, it is our duty to ensure this sustainability. We are planning to make our factory eco-friendly by making use of solar panels to utilize off-grid power and are even looking to use rain water for our internal water needs and more recently even looking at the possibility of we can make use of wind energy. We are targeting that by 2021, we will be able to make our factory completely eco-friendly.
What are the socio-economic benefits of G-gas?
If we think long term, the government has already put in place measures to diversify the energy consumption in Bangladesh. As natural gas is depleting, the government is trying to ensure a proper supply of clean cooking fuel for households.
People who use coal or firewood are exposed to pulmonary diseases such as TB, and even cancer. Sitting beside the firewood stove for one hour is as harmful as smoking 4 packets of cigarettes. The cost of wood is around 1000 TK (USD11.68) per month. This cost may seem not very significant but when you add medical bills from the damage the smoke causes, it becomes very, very expensive.
Are there any safety issues regarding the usage?
LPG is a flammable liquid and can cause harm if improperly handled. To ensure safety, we have marked safety signs and ‘handle-with-care’ signs on our cylinders. I believe we are the only company in Bangladesh that is currently carrying out this practice. No matter which cylinder people use, they must be aware of these simple matters, and must always be alert. As for our cylinder safety standards, we are following an American standard DOT4BA, which uses values from Cavagna in Italy and steel from Japan.
We are avoiding use of cheaper raw materials in order to ensure high standards safety. The industry is working on this matter as well, and are working on educating the industry stakeholders on how to handle cylinders during transportation, loading and unloading, and installation. As there are 160+ Million people in Bangladesh, it is very hard to educate every single person, but we are doing our part through social media to reach as many as we can. We are also holding small events to train people on this matter as well.
How is Energypac contributing to the society?
We, at Energypac are focused on contributing in many ways. Not only through energy or electricity, we have also been building transformers for the last 30 years for the power grid. We have helped upgrade the national grid system to assist with distribution of power nationwide. We have also built a power plant to help increase the generation capacity.
Right now, we are working on securing consumer energy accessibility. We have also done some off-grid solar projects and recently signed a contract with UNHRC to help provide off-grid electricity in Teknaf. On top of that, we are also pioneers in the CLF, LED bulb sector which helps with the reduction of electricity consumption in households. As part of our G-Gas SCR initiatives, we assist an organization called “Ek Takar Ahar” which helps feed the needy on a daily basis in exchange for 1 Taka (USD0.01). We are providing this organization with LPG at cost price to help promote their cause. We have also arranged a campaign for the intellectual martyrs to create social awareness.
Who could play the necessary roles?
Everybody. Government, companies, and people; basically everyone has to contribute. This is a commodity product, and this is a product that will help sustain the livelihood of all people in Bangladesh. A simple example would be looking at the legs of a stool or a chair; you cannot balance a chair or stool without each of its legs, just like you cannot have sustainability without the help of the people involved.
LPG insights from South East Asia
Parami Energy’s COO, Steve Mcbride, has almost 3 decades of oil and gas sector experience spanning exploration, drilling, evaluation and production almost entirely in Asia Pacific. He has over 15 years of experience in sales and business development. Steve commenced a consulting assignment with Parami Energy’s Upstream assets in early 2018 and was later appointed COO to oversee all Operations within the Group.
Steve is also WINLPG’s South East Asian Ambassador and we asked Steve for his thoughts on LPG in South East Asia and how Parami Energy get more women involved in LPG, especially in Myanmar, where Parami Energy has been distributing LPG for over a decade.
Steve told us that, “South East Asia represents one of the most dynamic components of the global energy system. Despite varying stages of economic development and energy endowment, the countries share a common challenge to meet unprecedented demand growth in a secure, affordable and sustainable manner. More significantly, access to modern energy is incomplete.”
He also added that, “In Myanmar, we are commencing the journey of delivering LPG as a considerably healthier, much cleaner, and more efficient fuel for cooking in millions of homes. At Parami Energy, we strongly advocate the appointment of solely women as LPG distributors to act as a catalyst in helping exceed the Governments’ objectives with respect to energy, health and the environment. Ultimately the empowerment of women in Myanmar will be a critical success factor.”
An LPG Road Map - A comprehensive vision for LPG in Myanmar
LPG Summit event in Yangon, Myanmar from 3-4 April 2019
In preparation for the LPG Summit event in Myanmar, from 3-4 April 2019 (lpgsummit.com/myanmar2019) Neasa Hapiak, Director was in Yangon and Naypyidaw in September and met with key LPG stakeholders from government and industry.
At the 2018 LPG Summit event held in March, we worked closely with the Ministry of Electricity and Energy, Myanma Petrochemical Enterprise. We will work closely with this body again in 2019 and following fruitful meetings expect a large number of government officials to come to Yangon for the event.
Discussions were had also with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation where the focus of the discussion was on the transitioning of the 81% of the population in Myanmar to now using from firewood to LPG. We expect to have a development panel this year with the participation of this government ministry.
We also met with key energy companies in Myanmar – Elite Petrochemicals and Parami Energy. These companies are working hard on initiatives to increase the use of LPG. The government is getting ready to finalise its regulation and standards for the LPG business in Myanmar.
Industry stakeholders are also working closely with the government in order to help achieve this goal. The message is that the industry needs to continue to build on the investment already done in the sector and forge ahead with a robust infrastructure and supply chain.
We are currently building our conference agenda and will share it shortly with all stakeholders. As safety is at the core of our business, our goal is to focus the second half of the second day on a safety workshop in cooperation with the World LPG Association at the event and to ensure a vibrant and stimulating conference program with participation from all Myanmar stakeholders.
The Women in LPG Global Network (WINLPG) announces the results of the inaugural Woman of the Year Award
Photograph shows Ms Lesieli Taviri (Photo #1), and (Photo #2 L-R) Ms Amber Fennell, Origin Australia accepting the award on Ms Taviri’s behalf and Ms Jessica Alderman receiving her runner up certificate in Houston during the World LPG Forum.
WINLPG is delighted to announce the results of the inaugural Woman of the Year Award. The winner is Ms Lesieli Taviri, General Manager, Origin LPG, Papua New Guinea
Lesieli Taviri is General Manager, Origin LPG Papua New Guinea, one of the largest providers of LPG in the Pacific Region. Having moved to PNG when in Year 11, Lesieli went on to complete her Bachelor of Computer Science at the PNG University of Technology and worked in IT for 8 years before moving in to the energy sector. Driven by a keen commercial interest from her early 20’s, Lesieli aspired to become head of an organisation. Today, she’s one of the most prominent business leaders in PNG, and recently won the 2014 Outstanding Woman of the Year Award.
The runner-up is Jessica Alderman, Director of Communications, Envirofit International, USA.
The award process drew considerable interest in the global WINLPG community and WINLPG thanks every single individual who took part in the award process as there were some inspirational women who were nominated. The voting brought the original 40 candidates down to a short-list of five exceptional candidates who were then voted, anonymously, by a panel of senior members of the LPG industry.
An honourable mention also goes to the other three finalists Ayse Bilgin, Supply Chain Director, Aygaz, Turkey; Mary Coughlin, Global BioLPG Product Manager, SHV Energy/Calor, Ireland; and Agnieska Stochmal, Sales & Marketing Director, Amerigas Polska, Poland.
Interview with Ms. Esther Assous : Developing the LPG Industry from within
Ms. Esther Assous joined the WLPGA team in October 2007. She is the Events Director at WLPGA and responsible for the management, marketing and communications of the annual World LPG Forum and the European Congress, the annual event of Liquid Gas Europe. She is a multi-lingual Dutch citizen speaking both English and French fluently.
Why is it important to bring industry together at the World LPG Forum?
The World LPG Forum is THE global event for the LPG industry bringing together all the stakeholders of the industry once a year. The leaders in business, politics and government as well as technical experts share their knowledge and learn from each other, while at the same time promoting a range of perspectives from both inside and outside the LPG industry. The World LPG Forum combines a major international exhibition as well as a high level conference and exceptional networking opportunities . If you want to stay informed about what’s going on in the LPG industry and extend your network, the World LPG Forum should be on your agenda each year.
Over the years, how has the event changed and how have the expectations of the event changed?
The event has considerably changed over the years. When looking back 10 years ago we can say that the event has more or less doubled in size. This is valid for the size of the exhibition as well as the number of attendees. Also, we partner more and more with regional associations and/or organisations. This leads to many side events taking place in conjunction with the Forum. We expect to continue to grow the event and with a focus on the outreach to external stakeholders.
You can say that from an inward looking technical event, the Forum has transformed into an outward looking strategic focused event. Of course we continue to cater for the technical interest via the Global Technology Conference which was launched in 2006 and is now an integral part of the Forum..
What sort of changes do you hope to see in the LPG industry in the future and specifically at the World Forum?
The focus for the future of the LPG industry will be on its positioning in the energy mix. We are at the moment experiencing an energy transition and LPG should be part of it. We believe that with the World LPG Forum we can have an impact on the position of LPG not only on the short term but also show that we have a long term vision.
As I indicated previously, the focus for the Forum will be on the outreach to our external stakeholders. This focus will bring the event to another level.
What locations are being looked at for the upcoming WLPGA events after Houston?
The Forum rotates around the world and every three year it’s combined with the European Industry. Next year’s event will take place in Amsterdam (24-26 September 2019). In 2020 the event will be hosted in Dubai and take place at the same time as World Expo 2020. The year thereafter, in 2021, India is on the agenda. In 2022 the event will most likely return to South America.
For any questions regarding the World LPG Forum, contact Esther Assous at email@example.com
LPG Summit goes to Houston, Texas to take part in the World LPG Forum
LPG professionals from around the world met in Houston, Texas from the 2-4 October at the World LPG Forum which was kick-started by an informative Global Technology Conference (GTC). Innovation was truly at the heart of the conference agenda.
Highlights from GTC were presentations from professionals at innovative companies like Envirofit (envirofit.org), ISA – Intelligent Sensing Anywhere (isasensing.com) and PaygoEnergy (paygoenergy.co) demonstrating the innovation at work throughout the industry. Most interesting to LPG Summit is the affordability aspect of LPG and the transition of people from firewood to LPG in the developing world. Of the nearly 3 billion people who currently lack access to clean fuel, most of them are located in developing markets in Asia and Africa.
Cavagna’s (www.cavagna.com), Pete O Dwyer made the Cavagna relief valve very exciting in his introduction of the relief valve for propane bulk storage tanks.
The conference program featured topics from the prospects for propane to communications in the business, to the transition in demand and supply in the developed world as well as the secrets of success from around the globe. All presentations were really good and there were also power play workshops on autogas, digital communications, IoT, and LPG as marine fuel.
Highlights from the conference were SHV Energy’s Michael Kossack’s discussion on the role of Biogas, Argus media’s Phil Shaw’s presentation on the global LPG market, Nick Quintong from PaygoEnergy’s discussion on the virtual gas grid and the LPG4Development panel sponsored by the Global LPG Partnership with Wanjiku Manyara from PIEA, Kenya, Bessem Enonchong from The Global LPG Partnership, Cameroon, and Obed Kraine Boachie, from the Ministry of Energy, Ghana.