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Gas Companies Seek Share of Butane Pie

Gas Companies Seek Share of Butane Pie
October 04
11:23 2019

On Thursday, October 3rd,
Prime Minister Dean Barrow met with the Mexican owners of the current liquid petroleum gas monopoly, dubbed the Butane cartel, at the Laing Building in Belize City on Wednesday morning to address their concerns about their roles in the new structure of the industry following government’s legislation establishing a National Gas Company.

The group of owners, including the principals of Belize Western Energy Ltd., Gas Tomza, Zeta Gas and Southern Choice Butane, met with Barrow for just over an hour and would only disclose that they still had concerns which they intend to discuss further in subsequent meetings. Local representative for the gas companies, Ernesto Uh said this was their first bit of information on how the new structure would work, despite a detailed release which was published several weeks ago.

PM Barrow said the owners told him they weren’t aware of what role they would play in the model to which he responded “…but Lord, this thing was in the House. It was in the news. There were House Committee meetings. You had every opportunity to go and make presentations but they still said there was a degree of ignorance on their part.”

Barrow noted that the mandate of the National Gas Company is to control the pricing of LPG and explained that the sourcing of the gas will be tendered with preference given to the current companies and operators for sourcing and transportation. He said their main concern is ensuring that the price of liquid petroleum is lower than the current prices operators are buying them at.

“The Supplies Control Department will be able to say we know now that in fact, the wholesale price is so much, because we, as part of the National Gas Company control that pricing. You can’t tell us that it is price A when we think that it is price B, but we can’t prove that you are wrong, and that we are right. Now, as the people who control the importation, we know what the proper wholesale price will be,” Barrow stated.

The principals of the current companies are also scheduled to meet with the different ministries involved to get a more technical understanding of their new roles in the industry.

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