LPG: Five keys to understand the shortage of this fuel at taps

A shortage of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) in Lima, Callao and other regions produced long lines in the last few hours at different taps and unrest among citizens. What are the causes of this problem?

1. abnormal waves

The Directorate of Hydrography and Navigation of the Peruvian Navy issued, on September 18, 2022, a special notice informing of the persistence of light waves from the southwest along the entire coastline. That would affect the download of LPG at port terminals.

The document Special Notice No. 78 specified that these waves from the southwest would mainly affect the areas that have open or semi-open beaches facing southwest. In addition, he indicated that the state of the sea was evaluated based on the behavior of the atmospheric and oceanic systems until Thursday, September 22.

For this reason, the Navy recommended that the Regional and local governments, Port Captaincies and companies in the aquatic community take the respective prevention and security measures. In addition, he urged the entire coastal population and people who carry out port, fishing, sports and recreational activities, to also abide by security measures.

2. Terminals closed

On Monday, September 19, the Ministry of Energy and Mines (Minem), explained that the persistence of abnormal waves “made it impossible” to carry out tanker loading and unloading operations for days at port terminals such as Callao, in order to supply LPG for home and vehicle use.

“The Minem has authorized, since last week, the use of the minimum stocks of LPGvolume of fuel that is stored and used to avoid shortages, in accordance with the provisions of the Regulation for the Marketing of LPG“, he stated in a press release.

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Abel Camasca, president of the Association of Packaging Companies (Aseeg), warned on Monday of a shortage of LPG in taps in Lima because the ports were closed for the discharge of LPG. “The terminals here in Lima have been left empty,” he said.

3. Lack of storage chain

The president of the Peruvian Hydrocarbons Society, Felipe Cantuarias, stated in News Extension that there is currently a chain of storage of LPG “very precarious” in the country to LPG. Due to this, it only allows fuel to be stored for three days when there are abnormal waves.

He argued that in the past conditions were not created to generate investment incentives with the aim of building “new storage spheres.”

“Then we have a window of only three days and when ships cannot enter the port, this situation is generated, but as I told you, thank God this is circumstantial, today it must be normalized. What happens is that when there is a constraint the first thing to be cut is the LPG vehicle so as not to affect homes,” he said.

4. Overcrowding and gas pipeline

Faced with “recurring” problems of shortages of LPG, Felipe Cantuarias considered that there is a need for a natural gas massification policy that allows, based on the Government’s impulse, that the private sector make the investment in the pipeline infrastructure for natural gas.

“In fact, an urgent measure is to advance in the massification of gas in the regions that are next to the pipelines: Ucayali and Ayacucho are very good examples. But what about the south? The south rightly demands the arrival of the gas has a problem and it is the famous Gasoducto del Sur that is stopped due to the problem that we all know. It is essential that the law be approved in Congress that allows this issue to be resolved,” he said.

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“The pipelines are there that it costs us almost 40 million dollars a year to take care of them and the south needs to decide on that issue. If the famous southern pipeline is unlocked, what will happen is that natural gas will arrive to the southern regions and it is a clean energy, much more efficient and cheaper. What happens is that until now all the regions, except Lima and Callao, do not receive cheap natural gas”, added the president of the Peruvian Society of Hydrocarbons.

5. Difficulties in supplying tank trucks

The shortage of LPG It has caused the drivers of tanker trucks that transport fuel to different parts of the country to take between two to three days to recharge their vehicles at the Pluspetrol plant, located in Paracas, Pisco province, Ica region.

This plant has four gas pumps, and the time it takes to load a tanker is approximately one hour, which has caused long lines of up to three kilometers.

“Due to the problem of nature, it has become complicated. There are loaded ships, but they cannot unload. So, the whole world is here,” one of the tanker truck drivers told RPP Noticias.

Guarantee supply of LPG

This Tuesday, the general director of Hydrocarbons of the Minem, Román Carranza, specified in the program News Extension so far this day the supply of LPG to the service stations, after the anomalous waves that prevented the unloading of the fuel.

“The ships have been unloading since yesterday, the ports have already opened, so in 24 hours the LPG in the faucets,” he said.

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Román Carranza explained that in the event of abnormal waves, such as the one notified by the Navy, the Minem authorizes companies to release the stocks that they must have stored as a rule, in order to prevent an eventual shortage.

“What depends on the ministry is to guarantee the supply of LPG to all citizens, and this is done when there are wave problems, stocks are released, and that allows the taps to continue maintaining the LPGperhaps in less quantity, but there is LPG“, he pointed.

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