Pune: IndianOil launches composite LPG cylinders that help to check gas levels

The composite cylinders are relatively lighter in weight and rust-free

The Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) launched ‘Indane composite cylinders’ of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) in Pune, claiming that they are lighter than conventional cylinders and helps customers to know the level of gas in advance.

The cylinders have been launched in a few cities, but the Pune launch is the first one in Maharashtra. “The cylinders will allow customers to plan their next refill easily as they have a translucent body which helps customers to accurately check the LPG level against light and verify the quantity of LPG supplied,” said Anirban Ghosh, Executive Director and Head of IOC Maharashtra at a press conference Friday.

These new age composite cylinders have multiple advantages over existing steel cylinders. Its tare weight is half that of its steel counterpart. They are rust-free, and do not corrode, he said.

“In Maharashtra at present, the composite cylinder in 5 kg and 10 kg sizes is available only in Pune city. The 10 kg variant is marketed under the domestic non-subsidized category whereas the 5 kg variant is available as free trade LPG (FTL) through various point of sale options. The price of gas will remain the same, but the additional difference of cylinder can be obtained by depositing the fees. Indane has about 45 lakh customers in Maharashtra,” he said.

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Regarding ongoing investments in Maharashtra, Ghosh said IndianOil is investing about Rs 800 crore in expansion of its retail outlet network, commissioning of CNG and electric vehicle (EV) charging stations and technology upgradation of its operating facilities. IndianOil will be launching more than 100 EV stations and 35 CNG stations in the state during the year. “This will lead to direct employment of about 3,500 persons in terms of operating staff with channel partners and indirect employment of around 7 lakh man days through capex execution and also business opportunity for more than 400 entrepreneurs.

Ghosh said IndianOil will be commissioning three major capacity augmentation projects at Manmad, Ahmednagar and Solapur terminals which have been constructed over the last two years with a capex of around Rs 1,000 crore and has generated employment for around 1,000 contract labourers during their construction period.

On the pandemic’s impact on fuel sales, Ghosh said IndianOil’s MS (motor spirit) sales dropped to 67 per cent and HSD (high sulphur diesel) sales dropped to 66 per cent in Maharashtra. Currently, petrol and diesel sales are about 86 per cent and 82 per cent of pre-Covid volumes, respectively, on a cumulative basis up to August. However, on a month-to-month basis petrol sales have reached pre-Covid levels and diesel sales are approximately 90 per cent of pre-Covid levels.

About making fuel refills more rewarding, Ghosh said IOC and Google Pay have collaborated to make it more rewarding for customers with cashbacks of up to Rs 500 on fuel purchase, subject to terms and conditions.

Ghosh added that IndianOil has automated over 30,000 of its retail outlets across India. In Maharashtra, all retail outlets are fully automated. Apart from in-built facilities, automation is enabled with various interlocks to ensure quality.

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