Litro increases output by almost 30K cylinders per day
Shortage will be solved in 2-3 weeks: Alagiyawanna
By Uwin LugodaSri Lanka’s gas shortage is likely to continue, as one distributor complained about the lack of assistance from the Government in getting supplies back on track.Speaking to The Sunday Morning, Laugfs Gas (Pvt.) Ltd. Chairman W.K.H. Wegapitiya said the Government had offered no relief for the industry.He added that the Government needs to issue US dollars to banks in order to facilitate the importation of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).“The LPG shortage is due to the current dollar shortage within the country. Because of this, the banks are issuing LCs of lower values, leaving us helpless,” said Wegapitiya.He stated that the LCs were insufficient to bring down LPG to service Laugfs’ market share.Wegapitiya said the company has been repeatedly requesting for LCs from private banks so it could clear its LPG stocks at the Hambantota terminal. “If we get an LC today, I can provide LPG from tomorrow onwards. We have enough stocks in the Hambantota terminal to do so,” he stressed. However, state-run Litro Gas Ltd. announced that more than 800,000 domestic gas cylinders are to be released to the market within this week.During a press conference held last Friday (19), Litro Director of Sales, Marketing, and Corporate Affairs Janaka Pathirathna said the company released over 700,000 domestic gas cylinders to the market within the last seven days.He explained that the recent adverse weather, the shortage of kerosene oil, and their trading competitor (Laugfs) not having adequate stocks of gas cylinders resulted in the increased demand for domestic LPG.“At present, we are supplying more than 25% of the daily requirement of domestic gas to the market. The daily requirement is around 70,000 cylinders per day. We are now issuing nearly 100,000 cylinders per day,” said Pathirathna. According to him, Litro is receiving multiple LPG shipments each week.State Minister of Co-operative Services, Marketing Development, and Consumer Protection Lasantha Alagiyawanna told the media that he is confident the shortage will be filled within two to three weeks, stating that the gap, left by Laugfs’ gas cylinders that have not been refilled, was the cause of the continued shortage felt in the market.