BP, the world's third-largest oil company, has submitted a proposal to Beijing for a US$50 million expansion of its liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) storage facility in Zhuhai. The scale of the expansion was not disclosed, but a rival industry executive said the expansion would exacerbate the present oversupply situation. BP has asked the State Development & Reform Commission to expand its existing facility with capacity of 40,000 cubic metric tonnes, Bloomberg reported. 'The plan will take two years to complete,' BP official Feng Yan said. 'We hope to start this year.' Like natural gas, LPG is a cleaner fuel whose usage is encouraged by Beijing. 'LPG is already a tough business and there is definitely oversupply, I don't know why BP would do that [the expansion],' the rival executive said. She said the top few players in China's LPG import market with large storage terminals accounted for the bulk of import volume, adding there were many smaller players in the crowded market. According to industry sources, BP has storage caverns in Ningbo, eastern China, with total capacity of 200,000 tonnes in addition to its Zhuhai facilities. Japan's Marubeni's joint venture Sino-Benny has a capacity of 80,000 tonnes in Shenzhen, while Caltex has 100,000 tonnes in Shantou. The trio have a combined capacity of about 420,000 tonnes, which, when multiplied by an average 10 to 12 times turnover, gives a total annual capacity of up to 5.04 million tonnes. Last year, China imported 6.2 million tonnes of LPG. Sino-beni imported 1.04 million tonnes, mainland-based Huadian 900,000 tonnes, BP 860,000 tonnes and Caltex 825,000 tonnes.