Fuel shortage hits Berbice
A gasoline shortage has hit Berbice for the past two weeks. The situation appears to be worsening and taking its toll as many ‘No Gas’ signs are being displayed across the region.
Several petrol stations across East and West Berbice have run out of gasoline. Kerosene is also very scarce. A few Shell stations have gas because Tatoil has been shuttling fuel directly from Georgetown, while the Guyana Oil Company has ensured that its Palmyra, Canje, petrol station, its only company- owned station in the region, has the reserve supplies, resulting in long lines at that station for cheap gas.
The reason for the shortage is said to be the supply boat that encountered mechanical problems and which is yet to arrive in Berbice. Kaieteur News contacted Guyana Oil Company Heathburn, East Bank Berbice terminal Thursday afternoon and spoke to an official who said that the boat is scheduled to arrive on Sunday.
The official described the “setback” as one which is under control by the state-owned fuel company. He noted that the boat would normally come from Georgetown and then to Berbice where the distribution would be done to several petrol stations.
He said that even in this situation, the terminal has enough fuel to supply its company- owned station at Palmyra, Canje until Sunday.
Speaking of the Palmyra Station, the only Guyoil-owned company station in the region, long lines were evident on Thursday as vehicle operators flocked for the cheapest gas around. Gas was selling for $216.6 per litre, as opposed to $252 per litre at Shell and $240 per litre at Tatoil on the Corentyne.
David Subnauth, Manager of Tatoil, at Number 58 Village, Corentyne said that Berbice would have been in a dire fuel crisis if his company had not been shuttling fuel from Georgetown to supply to several stations here during the past two weeks.
He said that he is supplying fuel at $240 per litre “since it is being shipped all the way from Georgetown…and if we weren’t in the picture, many of these gas stations that are not [Guyoil] company- owned would have closed down and caused a lot of trouble for motorists.
In the whole of East Berbice, only Palmyra is the company- owned station and they [Guyoil] have kept all of the [existing low supplies of gas] for that particular station”.
Subnauth added that the cost to cross the Berbice River Bridge has incurred additional fees on him and he has no choice but to pass this on to the consumer. “We brought kero from Georgetown to supply here and Palmyra is getting from Guyoil. The [Berbice River] Bridge cost and weight of the vehicle takes up the cost $6- $7 more per litre”.