The two companies applied to the Ministry of Commerce for the extension as the first approval expired on 31 December 2020
- LPG export kicked off in August 2019
- Covid-19 hit overseas sales
- 743 tonnes of LPG exported so far by Omera
- $5,69,418 earned as forex
Omera and Beximco, two leading operators of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) in the country, have sought a two-year extension of approval for export of cooking gas to the neighbouring Indian state of Tripura.
The two companies applied to the Ministry of Commerce for the extension as the first approval expired on 31 December 2020.
Not only Omera and Beximco, but also other big operators are trying to gain export access to neighbouring countries as the local market is over-invested with many players.
Seeking anonymity, a commerce ministry official said the time-frame for export will be extended till 30 June 2021.
He said a letter will be issued to the companies in this regard next week.
Omera LPG CEO Shamsul Haque Ahmed told The Business Standard the firm had applied for export extension approval as its current one expired on 31 December.
Earlier in 2019, Omera and Beximco got the go-ahead from the Ministry of Commerce and the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources to export 50,000 tonnes of LPG to Tripura annually.
Each of the companies had a plan to export about 2,000 to 4,000 tonnes of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) per month as per Business to Government (B2G) model.
However, due to the outbreak of Covid-19, the target could not be met.
From January to March of the outgoing year, Omera could export only 623 tonnes of LPG.
Earlier, during August-December in 2019, it supplied 120 tonnes of cooking gas to the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) following a purchase order from the landlocked state in the neighboring country.
In its application seeking approval, Omera LPG said the country had earned $5,69,418 in forex against the export.
However, it could not be learnt what volume of LPG Beximco had exported to India.
Beximco's authorised communication firm Impact PR told TBS the company had asked the authorities concerned to increase its export volume.
Meanwhile, IOC has floated a new e-tender for importing LPG, through which it asked the two Bangladeshi companies to participate, Omera LPG Limited mentioned in its application to the commerce ministry.
Some 30,000 tonnes of LPG will be exported to Tripura if Omera wins the bid, the company said, urging the commerce ministry to extend its export approval till 31 December 2022.
Besides the seven sisters of north-east India, Omera is also in talks with Nepal to supply the cooking gas there.
Tanjil Chowdhury, Managing Director of Omera's parent company East Coast Group, said: "We have applied for the extension as we are hopeful about winning the supply order from the IOC."
The operator has country-wide LPG marketing activities, with its main storage and bottling plant at Mongla in Bagerhat.
It also has three satellite plants in Chattogram, Ghorashal and Bogura, accounting for around 20% of the total LPG market in the country.
On the other hand, Beximco LPG Unit-1 Ltd, a venture of Beximco Group, has two LPG infrastructures at Mongla and at Narshingdi.
Currently, there are around 25 operators in the country with a total capacity of supplying two million tonnes of LPG against a local demand of around one million tonne per annum.
All the players are importing the raw materials related to the cooking gas from Kuwait, Qatar and Oman.