Sri Lanka’s LAUGFS group to expand offshore gas trading

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s LAUGFS Gas group has begun hiring traders for its new energy trading unit in Dubai, aiming to extend its offshore presence beyond the existing downstream business to serve regional markets and being a maritime logistics provider.

Group Chairman and Chief Executive W K H Wegapitiya said SLOGAL Energy DMCC in Dubai Multi Commodity Center will be used with a liquid petroleum gas storage terminal being built at Hambanttota port and a growing fleet of gas carriers to expand its overseas business.

The construction of LAUGFS LPG Terminal at Hambantota, by China Huanqiu Contracting & Construction Corporation, will deliver storage capacity of 30,000 MT of LPG,  most of which will be used to serve regional markets, he told shareholders in the firm’s annual report.

The company aims to “disrupt the current value chain to provide cost-effective solutions for other countries in the region,” Wegapitiya said.

Construction has been progressing on schedule; it’s now over 25 percent complete, with phase I scheduled to be operational in the second half of 2018.

The group also invested $3.3 million in buying a new LPG vessel named Gas Courage, increasing its fleet to three vessels, which are mainly used for transporting the group’s LPG requirement to Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

“The increased capacity enables us to transform SLOGAL Energy DMCC operations as we seek new markets for transporting LPG, expanding our business lines and footprint,” Wegapitiya said.

The report said LAUGFS group plans for SLOGAL “extend to exploiting trading opportunities outside the group’s existing downstream businesses". “As such, we are in the process of appointing experienced traders to cater to regions such as, Africa, Latin America and European continents,” it said. “The vision of SLOGAL is to extend its services beyond being a sole LPG supplier to be an efficient and effective maritime logistics provider leveraging on the growth in maritime transportation globally.”

LAUGFS Managing Director U K Thilak De Silva said its LPG trading operations in the UAE, strengthened its position, procure about 10 percent of its requirements from Sri Lanka.

“This strategic positioning will enable us to realise our aspirations, expanding our offshore businesses to lucrative markets in the region and beyond. Capacity was expanded during the year supported by the Transportation & Logistics Sector of the Group, which is pivotal to growth and profitability in this sector,” he said.
(COLOMBO, June 27, 2017)





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