Laugfs LPG transshipment terminal targets $500m in annual exports | Sunday Observer

Laugfs LPG transshipment terminal targets $500m in annual exports

12 May, 2019

The world economy is moving from the West to the East. Sri Lanka is at the centre of the Indian Ocean and the location specific advantage could act as a hub in terms of energy, logistics and trade. Being in close proximity to growing markets, such as Bangladesh, Myanmar, India and East Africa, will give a location specific advantage to these emerging markets, Chairman, Laugfs, W.K.H. Wegapitiya said.

“The energy is transported via sea and with Hambantota as the base, we decided to invest in the transshipment facility that could be best used as a sea route. The timing is right and we hope to build up the business soon,” he said.

Laugfs Terminals Ltd launched operations at its state-of-the-art LPG Transshipment Terminal at the Hambantota International Port last week, the largest of its kind in South Asia, with the first of its LPG cargo brought in by the Sri Lankan flagged vessel Gas Success, a part of Laugfs Maritime’s own LPG vessel fleet.

The new Laugfs LPG Terminal is an important energy infrastructure in the Indian Ocean, being strategically located amidst key international maritime trading routes connecting the West to the East.

“This is a historic occasion not only for Laugfs, but for our nation and the Asian region. The first revolutionary step taken towards realising Sri Lanka’s vision to become a maritime and logistics hub in South Asia was propelled in the early 1970s by the ground-breaking initiatives taken at the Colombo Port to create a hub for container transshipment.

“What we have initiated with the Laugfs LPG Transshipment Terminal will be a trigger for the second such revolution in fulfilling this ambitious vision of our country by creating an energy hub surrounding the Hambantota International Port. The economic and social impact of this to Sri Lanka is tremendous and multi-fold,” he said.

With a projected annual export value of USD $ 500 million, the 30,000 MT LPG terminal represents a significant investment in infrastructure development in Sri Lanka. The new LPG Transshipment facility will also serve to initiate coastal shipping services between Hambantota and Colombo Ports for the first time in the country. The Laugfs terminal operations are expected to create and support many direct and indirect industries surrounding its activities, generating employment and income opportunities for the country.

“Over the past two decades, Laugfs has been able to stride ahead with true entrepreneurial vision as a world class Sri Lankan conglomerate that could proudly etch the Sri Lankan flag on the global map, Laugfs Group Managing Director, Thilak de Silva said.

“We have achieved this with especially the expansion of our energy businesses, which has been possible due to the untiring efforts, deep passion and courage of our Laugfs team. The Laugfs Transshipment Terminal is another such feat, where we have conquered the impossible in the face of many challenges and have been able to create history in the energy sector not only in Sri Lanka, but also within the South Asian region,” he said.

Strategically located close to some of the largest emerging LPG markets and key international trading ports in the region, the Laugfs LPG Transshipment Terminal will garner multiple benefits to regional LPG players, elevating its significance as a central LPG hub in South Asia.

With tremendous opportunities to support the regional growth of the LPG industry, plans are also underway for capacity to be extended to 45,000MT by the completion of the second phase of the project, marking a total project investment of US $ 85 million. The new Laugfs LPG Terminal will operate as a central hub for LPG importing, re-exporting and the provisioning to retailers. The Terminal is also expected to support Laugfs Gas’ rapid expansion plans in the region to become an integrated regional LPG player in the Indian Ocean Rim area by leveraging on the synergies and strengths within its energy value chain.

Over the years, Laugfs Energy has rapidly expanded across the region in line with the Government’s keen interest in the sector. Laugfs’ presence in the sector ranges from LPG downstream activities in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh by Laugfs Gas, to LPG ocean freight services and related logistics with its own fleet of LPG vessels by Laugfs Maritime and energy trading by Dubai-based SLOGAL Energy DMCC. Laugfs has continued to build its stake in the energy value chain with strong investments in energy infrastructure and the Laugfs Transshipment Terminal at Hambantota will be an important addition to this journey.