‘No gas shortage, Litro stocks sufficient’
- Govt. assures of meeting total national demand
- Consumer Protection State Ministry orders Litro to supply
- Litro blames Monday queues on Sunday rest
- No decision yet on Litro filling Laugfs
By Buddhika Samaraweera and Pamodi Waravita
Claiming that the people are unnecessarily worried about the continued availability of the gas supply due to the declaration of bankruptcy by a certain gas supplying company, the Government has announced that the country has enough gas reserves and that the state-owned Litro Gas Lanka Limited is in a capacity to fulfill the entire gas requirement of the country.
Cabinet Co-Spokesman Dr. Ramesh Pathirana said that people should not be worried of any gas shortage and assured that the country has enough gas reserves.
“People are unnecessarily worried about gas because one company has declared bankruptcy. However, we have enough gas reserves for the country,” he added.
He was speaking during the weekly Cabinet media briefing held yesterday (10), in response to the media inquiries about the gas shortage in the country that is currently being discussed.
Meanwhile, the Cooperative Services, Marketing Development and Consumer Protection State Ministry has instructed Litro Gas to supply the entire gas requirement of the country. When contacted by The Morning yesterday, the Cooperative Services, Marketing Development and Consumer Protection State Ministry Secretary, K.D.S. Ruwanchandra confirmed the matter and claimed: “The LGLL has stated that it can fulfill the entire gas requirement of the country.”
Commenting on the long lines that were seen on 9 August at gas retailing shops where customers were seen with Litro Gas Lanka gas cylinders, LGLL Chairman Theshara Jayasinghe told The Morning yesterday that this was due to a slight disruption in its operations and distributions on 8 August.
“Litro did not operate on 8 August as our workers have been consistently doing heavy duty work for a while now. Moving around approximately 3 million kilos of goods a day is not an easy task. This was one of the main reasons for the lines that we saw on 9 August. The other is that small business owners such as bakery owners are stocking up on gas, as they are fearful of a gas shortage. However, since 9 August, we have been supplying 100,000 domestic units per day, which is 10,000 units more than the aggregate demand,” explained Jayasinghe.
He assured that Litro Gas is not facing a gas shortage.
Meanwhile, when queried as to whether there were any recent discussions with private liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) distributor Laugfs Gas PLC as stated recently by the Cooperative Services, Marketing Development and Consumer Protection State Minister Lasantha Alagiyawanna, Ruwanchandra said that several discussions were held but that no final decision has been reached yet with regard to Litro filling the Laugfs gas cylinders.
“This will have to be discussed further in the future,” he said.
The Cooperative Services, Marketing Development and Consumer Protection State Ministry recently on 1 August said that it plans to hold discussions with Laugfs Gas PLC regarding the gas supply shortage that its customers are currently facing. Speaking to The Morning, Alagiyawanna said that the Government was hoping to have a discussion within the course of that week with Laugfs Gas PLC on whether Litro Gas Lanka could refill Laugfs gas cylinders.
When questioned yesterday whether the LGLL would refill Laugfs gas cylinders, Ruwanchandra said that no agreement had been reached in that regard.
While global market prices of gas have increased significantly, both Litro Gas Lanka (which holds about 70% of the market share) and Laugfs Gas (which holds about 30% of the market share) have been requesting the Government to be allowed to increase local prices as well. However, the Government has been continuously rejecting these requests.
Laugfs Gas PLC Chairman W.K.H. Wegapitiya was not available for immediate comment.