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Oct 2, 2019

Butane Companies Reps Meet with PM Barrow

A meeting between Prime Minister Dean Barrow and representatives for Belize Western Energy Limited, Gas Tomza, and Southern Choice Butane (Zeta Gas) took place today in Belize City. The meeting lasted for more than an hour and the discussion revolved around the National Gas Company. In August, the government passed the National Liquefied Petroleum Gas Project Bill which established the National Gas Company which essentially transforms the LPG industry into a monopoly so that The National Gas Company is now responsible for supplying the country with butane. It is taking over the business from three suppliers owned by a Mexican investor. These companies, however, have taken issue with the new regime and today finally met with the PM. The government says it will have better insight on pricing and invited the companies to bid for transportation.

 

Dean Barrow

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“The meeting was very amiable, very constructive. They clearly have some concerns but I think we took the view that had been articulated by Gilly Cantun who as you know is the principal mover and shaker behind the National Gas Company. What the National Gas Company will do is act as the inclusive importer and wholesaler for the LPG, butane. As things now stand, the current companies do the importation as well as retail. We have had our problems in the past in terms of maybe a divergence of view between themselves and the Supply Control office and the Ministry of Trade as to the fairness of the importation prices. With the National Gas Company of which government is a twenty-five percent shareholder, their exclusivity is confined to the sourcing of the butane. That way we control the pricing and we know that nobody can give us figures that are perhaps questionable. The actual transportation of the LPG is to be done not by the National Gas Company. In effect what the National Gas Company is inviting people to bid. You tell me and the first preference will be given to the current companies, operators. You tell me at what price you can bring in the LPG that is needed, landed at Big Creek and we will see if there are others that can bring it in cheaper. We want to be sure that the price of the LPG at landing is going to be cheaper than the price at which currently the operators are bringing it in.” 


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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