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Jan 25, 2011

Butane suppliers get ready for 1 day countrywide protest

Butane importers are planning to close businesses this Wednesday to protest competition coming from Belize National Energy. BNE says it can retail butane for prices much cheaper, about thirty-five percent less per hundred pound cylinder, than the importers, but it can only supply for now, thirty percent of the country’s demand.  The Liquid Petroleum Gas importers: Western Gas Company, Belize Gas company, Grupo Tomza and Z- Gas want government to step in to keep them in business. They are currently selling butane between one hundred and twenty-six dollars to one hundred and thirty-one dollars per hundred pound cylinder. When we got the perspective from consumers today, it all boiled down to economics.  News Five’s Marion Ali reports.

Marion Ali, Reporting

There was no restaurant in the City which we visited that supported the notion that the Belize Natural Energy Limited should be prohibited from selling butane gas directly to the public at cheaper rates than the importers. We spoke to cooks and chefs ranging from upper scale to everyday restaurants and all of them said they support the idea of cheaper butane prices.

Voice of: Restaurant Cook

“If we could get it cheaper dah Belize I mean come on. Things hard already dah Belize, soh if the people dehn could get dehn gas cheaper well that dah di way we have to goh.  Ah mean we noh want box out nobody because everybody have to live, but that dah the way the world work.”

chef dwayne

Chef Dwayne, Mada Fish Restaurant

“We restaurant people when we set our menu from the first we know we already include the gas in our prices. So if they raise this prices, we can’t go to fi we patrons and fi we customers and say, ‘hey we have to charge unu wah two dollars more or one dalla more. If dah that, I thinkw e betta go back pan fiyah haat.”

Marion Ali

“If the prices go down does that mean it will reflect in your prices?”

Chef Dwayne

“Actually, we di try work round they people yah. We noh know what he outcome will be, but I just hope the Prime Minister really look pan everybody else, yoh understand?”

Voice of: Cook

“If you want the expensive, the imported one, you buy that.  Soh ih goh to weh you want buy, weh you could afford fi buy. So I think dehn should lef dehn fi mek we choose weh we could afford.”

One of the restaurant cooks we spoke with said that she has tried butane from BNE and that its quality is good.

Voice of: Restaurant Cook

“I support BNE because that cheaper and ih better and we poor soh we need that.”

Marion Ali

“You buy from BNE?”

Voice of: Restaurant Cook

“Yeah, we buy from BNE.”

Marion Ali

“How does the gas burn?”

Voice of: Restaurant Cook

“Ih burn almost the same.  So, Ih burn good.”

Voice of: Cook

“If you can’t afford fi buy wah cylinder weh wah cost yoh wah hundred and odd dollars and you could pay wah cylinder weh wah cheaper price, I woulda goh for it too.”

Voice of: Restaurant Cook

“Just mek the government try work out something and come to one agreement with the two companies soh people could choose.”

Voice of: Restaurant Cook

“I’d rather go pan the cheaper side.  Just want a cheaper price to help my situation out.”

douglas young

Douglas Young, Proprietor, Deep Sea Marlin’s Restaurant

“You’d a want the cheaper price, but weh di use ah buy it cheap today and tomorrow dehn raise double pan yoh?”

Even Lee Mark Chang from Chon Saan Palace Restaurant says cheaper is better.

Lee Mark Chang, Proprietor, Chon Saan Palace

lee mark chang

“We use roughly about eight hundred maybe sometimes a thousand gallons per month and gas is going roughly around four, four-fifty a gallon. So you can know the price of gas. Where it as was before, I think about fifteen years ago I think it was about two dollars, two-twenty-five a gallon. So it definitely makes a huge difference.”

Marion Ali

“But we noh hear Chon Saan chicken gwen up everyday or ever month, the way gas prices go up?”

Lee Mark Chang

“No, we try to keep the consistency in terms of the price leveling and sometimes as a businessman, we have to absorb certain losses. Take for example if the price of butane does go up, usually we absorb it and we try to save it in other areas that we can. But as a businessman we have to be flexible and if the price of gas or butane goes up, we have other departments and areas that we try to conserve on.”

Marion Ali

“But cheaper is always better?”

Lee Mark Chang

“Cheaper is always better for everybody.”

The importers and representatives of Belize Natural Energy will meet on Wednesday morning with personnel from the Ministry of Trade and the Belize Business Bureau to chart a way forward.  Marion Ali for News Five.

One gas company is breaking ranks. Belize Western Energy Limited, the largest importer of butane, says it will not join in the one day protest and that it has the capacity to supply the entire country during the shutdown.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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2 Responses for “Butane suppliers get ready for 1 day countrywide protest”

  1. el alcalde says:

    BULL !! LET THEM CLOSE DOWN ALL TOGETHER!!!
    LET THEM MAKE NOISE, THAT`S ALL, NOISE, THEY WILL BE SO VERY HAPPY TO RETURN TO THEIR BUSINESS AND DEEP INSIDE THEY WILL REGRET THE SALES LOST.
    WE ALL, ALL ARE SO HAPPY WITH BNE, PLEASE GO FOR IT BNE, WE NEED YOUR GREAT HELP IN DIFFICULT TIMES.

  2. Belizean says:

    Let those suckers close we are all for BNE very good gas.

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