Competition Commission of India (CCI) has issues order against South Asia LPG Company Pvt. Ltd. (SALPG) for abuse of dominant position for terminalling services at Visakhapatnam Port and imposed penalty of Rs. 19.07 crore on SALPG.
The case primarily concerned access to upstream LPG terminalling infrastructure at Vishakhapatnam Port, which comprises several components viz. unloading arms at the jetty, blender, heat exchanger and cavern (storage facility). This infrastructure,being operatedby SALPG,is used for handling imports of propane and butane and their blending into LPG.
In its order, CCI directed SALPG shall not insist mandatory use of its cavern and shall allow bypass of cavern for both pre-mixed and blended LPG, without any restrictions. Besides, SALPG shall allow access to its competitors, potential as well as existing, to the terminalling infrastructure at Visakhapatnam Port, subject to compliance with all safety integrity and other requirements under applicable laws and regulations framed thereunder.
East India Petroleum Pvt. Ltd. (EIPL) filed an information with CCI under Section 19(1)(a) of the Competition Act, 2002 (Act) alleging that while allowing it to use the blender, SALPG has been insisting on mandatory use of cavern. This resulted inpaying significant charges to SALPG. The OMCs were thus not finding the LPG terminalling services offered by EIPL economically viable and were constrained to avail the terminalling services offered by SALPG only.