Western Cape Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  23 Oct 2014

ENGINEERING: How Afrox Is Handling The LPG Problem


Recent Western Cape Business News

SOUTH AFRICA is experiencing a shortage of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) due to unplanned shutdowns within the local oil refinery industry, the South African Petroleum Industry Association (SAPIA) has confirmed.

SAPIA, the industry body which represents the oil refinery sector, said a number of refineries are currently on planned maintenance shutdowns, and others are on unplanned shutdowns due to technical difficulties.

As Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) is a by-product of the oil refining process, this means South Africa is experiencing an acute shortage. SAPIA further confirmed it anticipates that the affected refineries will be coming online and that should improve the situation. However, SAPIA could not give any timelines as to when full production from refineries will normalise.

“We have always worked closely with our LPG suppliers but no one could have foreseen the extent of the unplanned shutdowns experienced by South Africa’s petroleum industry,” says Afrox, southern Africa’s leading LPG distributor.

Afrox says it is committed to doing all it reasonably can to cope with the shortage but demand is outstripping the company’s limited ability to import stocks of LPG, which faces the triple constraints of the high cost-to-consumer, the dynamics of importing by sea and lack of inland storage facilities.

Says Afrox: “The LPG situation in South Africa is having a serious effect on the hospitality, manufacturing and automotive sectors of the local economy. In some parts of the country we have totally run out of product with little prospect of recovering the situation in the immediate term but Afrox continues to engage with all parties in an effort to find solutions for our customers.”

 “Even importing product has its difficulties; namely the costs involved, uncertain scheduling as it is imported by sea and inland facilities in which to store imported product once landed are limited; these issues make LPG imports a last measure instead of a first response.”

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