Three state-run oil marketing companies are setting up 60 LPG bottling plants under the public-private-partnership mode across the country to meet the increased cooking gas demand, a top official of Indian Oil Corp said Friday.
Around 5.87 crore new connections under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) have been given to poor families which require additional LPG bottling capacity, IOC chief Sanjiv Singh explained.
"We have already closed the tenders for setting up 60 small private LPG bottling plants in the country. IndianOil will avail 21 plants while Bharat Petroleum will have 20 and Hindustan Petroleum would have 19 such private bottling plants' service," the IOC chairman told reporters here.
He explained that it is a good proposition to engage private players for bottling LPG cylinders because they have many advantages like land and financial tie-up for setting up such plants.
Singh said that IndianOil can also increase the capacity of its plants which have one set for bottling 24 units at the time.
A bottling plant has many such sets with an annual capacity of 120,000 tonnes per annum while small private bottling plants would have the capacity of 30,000 tonnes per annum each.
About the growth in LPG consumption in India, he said that the IndianOil is expecting 6 to 8 per cent growth next year but this would also taper with achieving 100 per cent cooking gas penetration in the country and more consumers opting for piped natural gas with the availability of city gas distribution infrastructure in their towns.
The PMUY for which a budgetary provision of Rs 12,800 crore has been provided for releasing 5 crore LPG connections to women member of BPL (below poverty line) households by March 2019 and additional 3 crore LPG connections by March 2020.
The scheme was formally launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Balia, Uttar Pradesh on May 1, 2016. Oil companies crossed 5 crore mark during August 2018 which was eight months ahead of the schedule.
Since the inception of the scheme, IndianOil has released more than 2.75 crore connections and the industry released more than 5.87 crore LPG connections on all India basis.
The scheme has resulted in mass coverage of rural poor households and has led to improved national LPG coverage which was less than 62 per cent as on April 1, 2016, to 89.5 per cent as on December 1, 2018.