IOC immobilizes 50% of additional LPG supplies to meet growing demand

NEW DELHI: India's largest oil refinery and retailer, IndianOil, has tied up 50% more LPG supplies in bulk for April and May to ensure the uninterrupted availability of cooking gas refills for households.

India is the second largest consumer of LPG in the domestic sector and imports large quantities to offset the limited ability of state refineries to produce the fuel, although the country is a net exporter of petro-products. Almost 90% of imported LPG comes from OPEC countries, with Saudi Arabia and the UAE top the list. Oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan se ha conectado con sus homólogos de Saudi Arabia y Emiratos Árabes Unidos, entre otros, en los últimos días para buscar suministros adicionales de combustible.

LPG supplied in 14.2 kg cylinders is the main fuel for cooking in households in India. LPG demand increased by almost 2% in March, offsetting the trend in demand for all other fuels, such as gasoline, diesel and jet fuel, showing a drop of 18%, the lowest in a decade, Since the blockade to control the spread of the coronavirus severely restricts economic activities in all sectors. LPG consumption has been driven by families confined to their homes.

The state-owned company, with a 50% market share, is also increasing LPG production at its main refineries by optimizing operations. Simultaneously, the company's LPG bottling plants operate extended hours, operate night shifts and on holidays/Sundays to meet growing demand. The transportation infrastructure linking the plants to the LPG distributors has also been optimized for rapid cylinder change, the company said in a statement Thursday.

The company expects demand for LPG to increase further starting this month, as it begins delivering free LPG to poor households that received free LPG connection under the Ujjwala scheme. The government has offered three free top-ups (in the period from April to June) to the Prime Minister's beneficiaries Narendra Modi The brand's social welfare plan.

IndianOil has advised its distributors to prioritize the delivery of refills to these recipients. The company has started the process to transfer the total market cost of each cylinder to the linked accounts of its 3.7 million Ujjwala consumers in advance. A total of Rs 2,780 crore will be transferred in the next two days.

The statement says that IndianOil has delivered 3.38 crore of LPG cylinders to its customers in the last 15 days since closure, or 26 lakh cylinders per day. Along with the other two state players and HPCL - LPG distributors are delivering approximately 56 lakh refills to homes daily across the country.

For its frontline associates involved in maintaining the supply chain, the company has issued a health insurance policy of more than Rs 1 lakh, including COVID-19 related ailments, and made a bonus provision of Rs 5 lakh to next of kin in case of death from COVID-19.