LPG penetration in Myanmar remains quite low. Some estimates show that the only 3% of the households use LPG, and in most rural areas people still rely on charcoal for cooking. The country’s LPG consumption is considerably lower compared to neighbouring Thailand - with Myanmar’s consumption estimated to be around 40 times less than Thailand.
However, the country’s Ministry of Electricity & Energy (MoEE) aims to supply 1.5m households with LPG by 2020, up from just 150,000 last year.
Myanmar’s domestic LPG production accounts for only less than 10% of the consumption, the bulk of existing domestic LPG demand is imported from Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia – brought in by land in trucks - until recently. The government is now focused on increasing import and distribution infrastructure for LPG. Already there are several new investments from local and foreign players to meet the growing demand.
Local energy firm Elite Petrochemical is building Myanmar’s first private sector LPG processing, handling and infrastructure facility. The US$128 million LPG import and distribution facility, in the Thilawa SEZ, has already inaugurated the first phase of the project in May this year.
The project includes a terminal and hub that features a jetty for cargo handling and a 3,000-tonne storage tank farm. In the next phase, Elite will expand storage capacity to 25,000 tonnes of LPG and up to 100,000 tonnes of other fuel products.
Last year, Parami Energy Group secured a MMK6.5 billion (US$4.9 million) tender from the Ministry of Electricity and Energy (MoEE) to build a jetty, terminal and storage facility at the Thanlyin refinery in the Yangon Region. This is the first time a private company was allowed to lease state-owned LPG facilities. The planned facility aims to handle about 8000-10,000 tonnes of LPG per month once ongoing upgrades are completed.
Asia AVA Gas formed a JV with Myanma Petrochemical Enterprise (MPE) for a LPG import, storage and distribution project at Bogyoke, Thalyin district. To be built at a cost of US$60 million, the project will create a storage capacity of 12,000 tonnes, as well as jetties for unloading carriers and a gas-filling plant.
Despite the increase in private sector investments, Myanmar still has to address its shortage and trans-shipment facilities and build modern filling points to transfer the fuel from large depots to smaller cylinders for retail. Another bottleneck is to reach remote areas – that require specialised tankers. It is expected to be met by suppliers.
MPE has already licensed 15 new privately operated filling stations across the country, and granted approval to some 600 companies to either use LPG or operate in the segment.
Find out more about Myanmar’s LPG import, storage distribution plans at CMT’s Myanmar LPGtrade Summit on 15-16 November 2018 in Yangon.