Petroleum Ministry to solve Egypt’s butane cylinder crisis by winter
Minister of Petroleum Sherif Ismail - YOUM7 (Archive)

CAIRO: The Petroleum Ministry announced it embarked on developing a plan to solve Egypt’s butane gas crisis and prevent shortages during winter through increasing the productive energy in several distillation units across the country.

The plan will include contracting a number of companies to supply butane and to make a good use of the current global decrease in oil prices in order to save a strategic reserve of 105,000-110,000 tons of butane during July and August, Petroleum Minister Sherif Ismail said in a press release Tuesday.

“The ministry also works on increasing the capacity of several Egyptian ports to receive huge tankers with imported butane of 30,000 to 45,000 tons,” Ismail said.

Egypt imports around 50 percent of its butane gas from Arab countries including Saudi Arabia and Algeria. In January, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi has said that the current butane gas shortage crisis was due to “bad weather, which delayed butane shipments.”

In November 2013, Egypt’s former Prime Minister Hazem al-Bebalwy instructed ministers of petroleum, local development, and supply to find an immediate solution for the gas butane cylinder crisis, a source from Egypt’s cabinet told Youm7.

Bebalwy urged the ministers to monitor butane cylinder warehouses and implement legal measures including 15,000 EGP ($2,000) to 20,000 EGP fines and six-month imprisonment against any manipulators, the source said.

He also asked to increase government control of vehicles transporting butane cylinders to prevent smuggling and end black market sales, according to the source.

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