International Finance Corporation (IFC) has committed to invest $20 million as a long-term loan in Omera Petroleum to help the company double its capacity and increase the availability of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), especially in rural areas.
Omera—whose parent MJL Bangladesh Ltd is majority owned by Bangladeshi conglomerate East Coast Group—is the second-largest player in Bangladesh's LPG market by volume.
The loan of IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is part of its project to double its capacity and make LPG available in nearly all sub-districts of the country. Wendy Werner, IFC country manager for Bangladesh, and Akhter Hossain Sannamat, chief finance officer of Omera, signed a loan agreement in this regard at the Westin Dhaka recently.
According to the IFC, this will expand access of LPG to 350,000 additional households (around 12 percent of the total market potential) over the life of the loan.
It will also help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by substituting kerosene, wood and other hazardous cooking fuels, and allow the limited reserves of natural gas to be diverted to power generation and industries.