Galp Energia's LPG business sells liquefied petroleum gas, propane and butane, at over 20,000 points of sale to one million end customers.
Galp Energia distributes LPG in three ways: bottled, in bulk and through pipes. In Portugal, the bottled segment is the most important and in Spain, the most important is the bulk segment.
The supply chain of LPG
Supply and refining
Galp Energia distributes and sells propane and butane gas produced in the Sines and Matosinhos refineries, and uses imports to satisfy market needs.
Generally, propane is imported and there are regular imports for the storage of LPG in Sines or Leixões (Matosinhos refinery or Perafita park). Typically, we produce enough butane and only occasionally import this gas.
Storage and distribution
Our most important storage unit is located at Sigás, where Galp Energia has a 60 per cent stake in partnership with BP (35 per cent) and Repsol (5 per cent). Galp Energia's share in the infrastructures of Sigás guarantees a total storage capacity of 34,800 tonnes.
Galp Energia has its own LPG-filling infrastructure in Sines and at the Perafita park. CLC, in which Galp Energia has a 65 per cent stake, also has filling infrastructure. This plays an essential role in the logistics of the LPG bottles subsegment.
From these three facilities, we deliver LPG in bulk to customers by tank trucks, and LPG bottles by pick-up trucks.
We deliver LPG bottles to 300 resellers across Portugal. These resellers then distribute the bottles to second-line resellers, almost 700 service stations and more than 20,000 points of sale.
We use tanks to deliver gas in bulk, which may be buried to avoid changing the landscape of Galp Energia and its customers.
The piped LPG business is similar to the bulk LPG business. However, the piped LPG business comprises a small group of bottles, while the bulk LPG business is stored in tanks.
For bulk and piped gas, a gas distribution network supplies houses, buildings and residential areas.
Products and applications
The Pluma case
Through ongoing innovation and exhaustive market research, in October 2005, Galp Energia developed a new product: Pluma.
This new LPG bottle, developed and manufactured entirely in Portugal, is a testament to our ability to independently create a groundbreaking consumption product. In only three months, using just-in-time systems, the factory achieved the maximum production capacity for Pluma.
The Pluma bottle has already received several prizes, including the IF Product Design award 2006. The prize recognises design excellence and is used by winning companies to certificate their quality, innovative approach and competitiveness.
Pluma also received the IF Seal of Design Excellence, winning the approval of a demanding international jury that evaluates exceptional quality, execution capacity, material selection, innovation, environmental protection, functionality, ergonomics, perception of use, safety, and brand equity.
In early 2006, Pluma received its third international prize: the 'Best of the Best' special prize from the red dot design award. Created in 1955 by Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen to award the best international design creations, the red dot design award celebrated its 51st edition in 2006.
LPG sales have suffered through rising sales of natural gas. To help avoid this decline and create new consumption through added-value products, Galp Energia developed new LPG-driven products in lighting and heating, namely the Hotspot heating. These products aim to enhance comfort and leisure.