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Litro goes for emergency procurement to avert LP Gas shortage

State-run Litro Gas Lanka Ltd has activated its emergency procurement process to avert LP Gas shortage re-emerged as local commercial banks are not opening letter of credit (LCs) to facilitate imports amid severe dollar shortage.

Sri Lanka’s cooking gas dealers (LPGas) claimed that they have already not receiving the adequate supply now.

In the past few weeks, people standing in winding queues stretching over a kilometre to buy gas has been a common sight. 

In the wee hours of the mornings, people lined up outside dealers’ outlets to grab a cylinder of gas. But many went empty-handed because the dealers were supplied only a limited number of cylinders which were snatched up no sooner they arrived.

Several restaurants and eateries across the country have been forced to close down due to a shortage of gas.

Signalling a sigh of relief for consumers, three Shipments of LP Gas are now anchored at the Colombo waiting for the unloading of LP gas stocks ordered by Litro Gas Lanka Ltd    

The clearing of LP GAS shipment arrived at the Colombo Port recently is now underway and Litro gas has commenced the distribution of LP gas cylinders countrywide with immediate effect, a top official of the state owned entity said.

This stock of 3600 metric tonnes of LPGas is sufficient for three days as the country’s requirement is around 1100 MT per day, he claimed. 

The country’s daily requiremet is around 80000 12.5 Kg LP Gas cylinders, 15000, 05 KG cylinders and 16000 2.3 KG cylinders.

 How ever Litro Gas Company has not issued these LP GAS cylinders to the local market since Febrauary 01 this year creating shortage in the country. 

Laugfs Gas, Sri Lanka’s only private LP gas supplier in the duopoly market said there is only a little stock left.

“We will see a serious shortage. We have very little stock only sufficient for one or two days in the port,” W K H Wegapitya, Laugfs’ Chairman, said .

Laugfs Gas controls around 20 percent of the LP gas market in Sri Lanka while the state owned Litro supplies 80 percent.

Litro said yesterday that the company will take at least three weeks to supply gas to reach normal market levels due to tightened safety regulations for gas distributors.

The distribution delay has already led to a black market for LP gas. A 12.5 kg cylinder, which is officially priced at 2,750 rupees, is being sold around 4,500 rupees in some places, local media reported Laugfs needs on average 15-30 million US dollars per month to import gas, Wegapitya said.

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