The liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) sector is expected to grow despite concerns over Brexit and COVID-19, according to a new report.
The report by trade body Liquid Gas UK including a survey of industry experts, which shows the vast majority (86%) expect turnover to grow in the next 12 months.
It also reveals that the sector has also earmarked £106m of investment into bioLPG, which is made from 100% renewable sources and emits up to 90% fewer emissions than LPG, helping to kick-start the industries vision to reach 100% bioLPG by 2040.
Overall, the LPG industry directly employs at least 3,500 people in the UK and has an annual turnover of over £1billion, with almost three quarters (74%) indicating growth in sales over last 12 months. In that time, £115m has been collectively invested by industry.
For gas suppliers, the sectors of significant growth over the 12 months to May 2020 were domestic heating (68% of respondents), leisure and recreation (50%) and hospitality and street food (27%).
With confidence of growth and ambitions to invest, the industry is still faced with some key concerns. Almost three quarters (74%) of respondents highlighted a severe skills shortage.
Technical roles such as engineers, LPG installers and plumbers are those that were most frequently highlighted as facing serious skills shortages, with two thirds (66%) of respondents reporting difficulties in recruiting qualified engineers.
‘It’s great to see that in a time of an unprecedented economic difficulty, the LPG industry is bucking the trend,’ said Liquid Gas UK chief executive, George Webb.
‘The census proves we have the appetite for growth and the ability to deliver, with the industry building up its workforce, improving its infrastructure, making huge investments and expanding into new, as well as existing, markets. We have a £1bn industry and plans for £600m in investment in the years ahead. Proportionally, that level of committed investment is massive.
‘It also shows that investors clearly see the opportunity for LPG to play a bigger role in heating off-grid buildings as the decarbonisation agenda progresses – with it producing 33% fewer carbon emissions than coal and 15-20% fewer carbon emissions than oil.
‘Meanwhile bioLPG is available now and the industry is committed to reach 100% bioLPG by 2040. In bioLPG alone, we are seeing projected investment of over £100m for the next year,’ added Mr Webb.
Photo Credit – Magnascan (Pixabay)