Western Cape Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  05 Jul 2012

GAS: LPG: Beware The Winter


Recent Western Cape Business News

WINTER is starting to make its presence felt throughout the country and consumers are taking the necessaraay steps to keep warm. One of the challenges faced last winter was a shortage of LPGas and there is a concern that we could face a similar fate this year.

However, steps have been taken to prevent a similar occurrence through continued engagement of all parties involved in the supply of LPGas.

Speaking at a recent media briefing session, Department of Energy Minister Dipuo Peters recognised that the annual spike in LPG purchases shows that last minute demand for gas at the start of winter is the primary reason for the annual shortages.

Peters urged users to avoid shortages caused by spikes in demand during the winter months. She said, LPG is currently readily available across the country and users are urged to refill or stock up to cover their medium term needs.

In order to optimise communication of LPG information to all users, the Department of Energy has formed an LPG Awareness Partnership with sector role players including the South African Petroleum Industry Association (SAPIA), Fuel Retailers Association (FRA), South African Petroleum Retailers Association (SAPRA) and the Liquefied Petroleum Gas Safety Association of South Africa (LPGSASA).

The partnership is a structure which focuses on discussing matters associated with the public communication of LPG availability, access, and safety issues in order to promote better public understanding of LPG across the board.

In terms of planning for the winter season and in order to maintain continuity of supply, there are no planned shutdowns which would impact on the production/supply of LPGas at any of the refineries during May, June or July. In the event of unplannaed shutdowns occurring, information regarding the nature of the problem and the anticipated downtime will be communicated as broadly as possible.

While steps have been taken to minimize the possibility of a shortage of LPGas, the industry does face another challenge in that consumers have taken to keeping a backup stock of LPGas. While this makes sense, there are a few other issues which need to be considered.


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