By Uditha Jayasinghe
The Government’s LP gas venture Litro will be formally registered this week after an extraordinary shareholders meeting but no progress has been made on the expected share issue, a top Finance Ministry official said.
Finance Ministry Public Enterprise Department Director General Dr. B.M.S Batagoda told the Daily FT that the formal process of the registration would be completed within this week but that it would take several more months before the share issue would be floated.
“At the moment it is just an idea,” he noted, responding to whether the original deadline of three months would be met. “We are thinking about it, but there is a long process to be completed before such a step is taken. We cannot give a date at this point.”
Board meetings will be held in this regard in the future, Dr. Batagoda noted.
The rebranding process is also getting off the ground with vendors and distributors being urged to change to the new logo as soon as possible. Even the letterheads are being changed this month and the company is keen to meet its rebranding deadlines.
Under the agreement made with Shell Gas, the new company has four years to stamp its mark on cylinders, but the Board of Directors is keen to fast-track the process, Dr. Batagoda revealed.
Litro Gas Lanka has ambitious plans to expand its capacity by launching the stage two development plan of the Kerawalapitiya filling plant. The current capacity of this facility is 8,000 metric tonnes and stage two would offer another 8,000 metric tonnes. With that move, Litro expects to hold a buffer stock, which is considered crucial for the industry.
The company also plans to immediately introduce more cylinders to the market and it would need over 100,000 cylinders to meet the current demand.
Intent on treating competitor Laugfs Gas as a “friendly stakeholder,” Litro also wants to work with the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) on a fresh pricing formula. The CAA has the authority to regulate gas prices under a formula legalised by the Supreme Court. It adjusts the prices bi-monthly based on applications made by the companies.