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Petroleum Ministry vows to tackle gas shortages by next winter
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The Ministry of Petroleum has created an action plan it says will relieve shortages of cooking gas cylinders in time for next winter.

Throughout the winter and spring of 2015, nationwide shortages of the fuel led to protests and road closures by citizens who depend on the fuel cylinders to cook and heat water.

Butane gas cylinders were also a major driver of inflation in early 2015. Although government subsidies keep the official prices at LE8 per cylinder, scarce supplies create a vicious black market, with prices as high as LE100 reported in some provinces.

According to the Central Bank of Egypt, the price of butane cylinders rose by 54.58 percent in January, 16.6 percent in February, and 27.91 percent in March before finally falling in April.

This winter, the Petroleum Ministry announced that it has a “clear vision and policy” to provide liquid petroluem gas (LPG) by increasing the country’s refining capacity, and by improving the infrastructure required for transportation and trade of the fuel.

Projects already underway include work to upgrade ports so that they can receive larger fuel tankers, and the construction of a 7 kilometer pipeline that will transport imported LPG to processing stations, according to a ministry statement.

The ministry announced it is also inking contracts with distribution companies and working to develop stockpiles of the fuel during the summer, when demand is less.

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