LPG turning into popular as a fuel

LPG turning into popular as a fuel

Abdullah Al Mamundaily-bangladesh.com

Published: 21:09 6 January 2022   Updated: 21:22 6 January 2022

Feeling station; Photo: Daily Bangladesh

Feeling station; Photo: Daily Bangladesh

The use of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) in vehicles has increased tremendously over the last decade and a half across the country, including the capital, due to the rise in fuel prices and various constraints. The prices were also increased from Tk 7.45 to Tk 43.45. However, as the gas reserves are declining day by day, there are fears about the availability of CNG. As a result, people are now turning to Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), an imported fuel that is used for cooking.  

According to a statistic, the number of CNG-powered vehicles in the country is around five and a half lakh. However, in terms of the price of CNG and quality, LPG is now considered equivalent to oil. Therefore, the number of LPG conversions is increasing day by day due to the relatively low cost. The number of CNG conversions, on the other hand, is decreasing day by day.

It has been seen on the spot that LPG filling stations are being constructed all over the country including the capital at the initiative of several companies including Bashundhara, Beximco, Jamuna, Navana, Omera, BM, Padma. LPG is being sold at Tk 52 to Tk 53 in each of the launched stations.

Murad Hossain, who works at the Islam Brothers LPG Filling Station near Kamarpara in Uttara, said “LPG is being used instead of CNG” in almost all places. “Safety, usage, whatever it says, LPG is now ahead from all sides.”

Rabiul Awal, a private bank official who came to the station to collect LPG in his used car (private car), said that “LPG has more mileage than CNG”. Besides, there is no need to go to the CNG station again and again as a result of using LPG.

Uber-driven (private car) driver Iqbal Mia said that although the cost of LPG is a bit high, one does not have to stand in a serial with the car. Earlier, it was seen that one had to stand at the CNG station for half an hour or one hour. But as a result of using LPG, that time is no longer needed.

Driver Iqbal Mia also said that he does not like to drive CNG anymore. “Even if I leave my job and go to another place, I will not drive a CNG-powered car anymore,” he added.

Experts believe that when the LPG market grows in the next two to three years, the price will also reduce a bit. They believe “LPG will be at the top of consumers’ choice as a vehicle fuel in the future”.

When asked, Southern Group Chairman Manoranjan Bhakta said, “CNG conversion in my station is decreasing day by day. Last month, we did only 24 CNG conversions, however, we have done 52 LPG conversions.”

“When we had CNG peak season, we converted about 600 to 700 cars per month. There, we did convert only 24 vehicles last month. This means that CNG conversion is slowly being stopped. LPG on the other hand is slowly increasing,” Manoranjan Bhakta also said. 

Highlighting the price difference between CNG and LPG, the Southern Group Chairman said, “CNG at Tk 43, LPG at Tk 52 to 53 and octane at Tk 96. This is the fuel consumption costing comparison. If we compare it – LPG used for cooking, it should not be more than Tk 35-36.” 

He also commented that people would be more interested if LPG could be brought at Tk 35-36.

Sarwar Alam Khandaker, manager of Clean Fuel Filling Station Limited, said, “We are charging Tk 30,000 to convert the LPG that needs to be tuned by hand with a 60-liter cylinder. And for converting CNG, it will cost a minimum of Tk 50,000.” 

He added the LPG conversion that they are doing through the software with a 60-liter cylinder will cost Tk 55,000-60,000. On the other hand, Tk 70,000-75,000 is being required to convert into CNG by software. “Therefore, LPG is safe, affordable and convenient for all users,” Sarwar Alam Khandaker said.

Mehedi Hasan, Chief Marketing Officer of Beximco LPG Limited, told Daily Bangladesh that in the last one year, Bangladesh has been bringing a milestone change in autogas.

He said there are about 850 CNG stations available in the country. But within a short time, there have been more than 500 LPG gas cylinder stations. After one year, i.e. in 2022, it will improve to 1500. “So if you think about customers, they will go on a validity date. They can refill anywhere. I think it will be a special service for the customer.”

Mehdi Hasan further said that the price of LPG has been limited to Tk 53-55 per liter for autogas due to the increase in fuel prices over the last few years. If the price goes down, we believe it will come down below Tk 40 again. So if you think about the customer where the price of octane is Tk 96 – which is more than double of LPG autogas – in that case, customers are getting a huge benefit in this sector. Besides, the mileage is more available in LPG autogas. The car parts are also good. In comparison, it gives the same service as octane.

The problems of CNG are not the same as the problems of LPG in cars. “No more heat, less weight. As a result, the car is risk-free. It’s a big deal,” Mehdi Hasan added.

Chief Marketing Officer of Beximco LPG Limited said that as the LPG market has become promising at the moment, the government should come forward and make people aware of this.