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Butane Strike Not Affecting San Pedro

A trio of butane retailers is on a nationwide strike. The total shutdown by Gas Tomza, Belize Western Energy Limited and Zeta Gas Ltd went into effect Friday, September 9, following a breakdown in talks over a request for an increase in the retail price of butane. These three companies supply about 80% of the country with butane and the big question for island residents is: Will this strike affect our supply of butane on the island?

Ambergris Today contacted the island’s butane suppliers, E& L’s Butane Gas and Belmont Butane Gas, and representatives from both companies confirmed that they receive butane from these major suppliers that are on strike. But for the meantime we are not going to be affected by this strike as one company confirmed that they have just purchased butane from one of the suppliers and the other company stated that they still have butane and don’t think we will be affected.  

San Pedro residents can rest assured that this strike, for the meantime, will not affect us unless prices are increased. Consumers are reminded to exercise their rights and have their cylinders weighed before and after filling of the tanks so that one gets their money worth of butane.

Below is a press release the Government of Belize:
Press Release – September 9, 2011- The Government of Belize (GOB) wishes to inform consumers that it has always maintained an open dialogue with the importers and local producer of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) and as such extends its assurances that it will continue to do so in the interest of the general public.

While the GOB acknowledges that prices for LPG are directly affected on a monthly basis due to acquisition costs, it remains resolved to ensure that all suppliers in the supply and distribution chain comply with the National Metrology Liquefied Petroleum Gas Regulations (Statutory Instrument No. 12 of 2011). Since introduction compliance has staggered and even so the GOB has over extended itself by providing extensions for compliance. The GOB’s unflinching position at present is that all suppliers exercise every effort to treat consumers fairly by observing relevant stipulated laws and regulations, failing to do so leaves little room for negotiations at the same time it only reinforces the GOB’s cases as submitted to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

The decision to cease operations by the Central American Group of importers which includes Belize Western Energy Limited, Gas Tomza Ltd. and Zeta Gas Ltd. is not a common position held, since the Reyes Group of Companies, importers of LPG from Mexico and Belize Natural Energy remain open to the public. These companies have expressed their willingness to do what is necessary to supply LPG during this festive occasion. In addition, the GOB will explore other measures to ensure that the supply of LPG is not interrupted.

In the interim, the GOB will engage the Central American Group of importers during the course of next week to arrive at an amicable solution. At the same time, the GOB encourages consumers to exercise their rights by ensuring that suppliers deliver value for money. The claim made by these companies that consumers do not request cylinders to be weighed at the point of sale is not a legitimate excuse, especially where the law is explicit. Furthermore, while the GOB is expected to weigh considerations relevant to the LPG sector it must in the interest of consumers reiterate that it will not contemplate any price increase with any individual or grouping until there is full compliance. – End –

For more Information please contact Mr. José E. Trejo
Director Belize Bureau of Standards– Ministry of Economic Development, Commerce, Industry and Consumer Protection
Ministry of Works Compound, Power Lane, P.O. Box 430, Belmopan City
Tel: 501-822-0446/0447 Fax: 501-822-2571 E-mail:
Hotline: 0-800-2-TELL-US (0-800-283-5587)

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