In 2010, the country imported 93.9 million Br worth of Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG). This figure is 87pc higher than that of the previous year, which was 50.1 million Br. The import expense increased by 144pc on average between 2005 and 2010.
A new entrant to the market Istanbul Gas Cylinder Manufacturing Plc of Turkey is set to distribute Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) as of next week. The company is a joint venture with TIRET, the Amhara Endowment Fund, with a 30pc share bought in January 2010.
Istanbul gas has taken a one hectare plot of land out of 130 owned by TIRET in Sheno, Ahmara Regional State, 74km from the capital to be used for filling cylinders with LPG.
The company has already imported 22,000tn of gas from Sudan and four depots through which 6,000 cylinders, also imported, will be filled, according to Nuzet Erdogan, owner and general manager of Istanbul Gas.
“We have also imported generators bought from Gasoline Cylinder Manufacturing Plc, in Turkey bought; all were bought at a cost of 1.5 million dollars,” he told Fortune.
This makes Istanbul Gas the fifth company to provide LPG locally along with Ghion Gas Plc, Total Ethiopia, Nile Petroleum and National Oil Company. But the company doesn’t plan to only stop there, according to Nuzet.
“We are also planning on manufacturing the LPG container here,” he told Fortune. “We will start production of LPG cylinder with full capacity in six months time; we are currently installing the necessary machineries which cost around 60 million dollars.”
This is good news for those who complain about the shortage and price of LPG gas on the market. Currently a cylinder of LPG costs 490 Br on the market. The company has not set the price yet, but will be distributing them through two local agents, in Bole and Kolfe District, according to Nuzat.
Africa produces around three million of LPG gas per year. Nigeria which produced 1.5 million tons of LPG gas in 2010 also covers 50pc of the continent production, while Angola, Equatorial Guinea and Sudan produces 1.5 million tons, 650,360tn, and 300,000tn, respectively.
‘‘The main vision of this factory is to contribute by adding to the supply of affordable LPGs and cylinders,’’ Neuzat told Fortune.
This is why TIRET, established in 1995 in Amhara Regional State by pooling resources under the Amhara National Democratic Movement (ANDM), joined this company, according to Berhanu Getaneh, senior project execution officer for TIRET.
‘‘We joined the company because of the unique investments they are trying to introduce to the country,’’ he told Fortune. “Not only do they want to provide LPG but manufacture the cylinders here that are imported from countries like Turkey, Iran and Sudan.”
This is a new sector for TIRET, which administers five companies: Tikur Abay Transport Plc, Dashen Brewery Plc, Ambasel Trading House, Zeleke Agriculture Mechanization and Belesea Logistics & Transit.
Ethiopia mostly imports LPG gas from Sudan, who has a 300,000tns production capacity per a year.
Ethiopia imported 8,400tns of LPG at the cost of 93.9 million Br from Sudan, in 2010. In comparison with the previous year’s imports, it showed an increase of 11pc and 87.8pc in weight and monetary value, respectively, according to data obtained from the Ethiopian Revenues and Customs Authority (ERCA).
The major producers of LPG in Africa are Nigeria, Angola and Equatorial Guinea, with a total production capacity of 1.5 million tonnes, 650,160tns and 495,360tns respectively.[Fortune]