Cooking gas cylinders are in short supply due to galloping demand during Ramadan, but the producers say they are setting up at least 15 more distribution centres to reduce the demand-supply gap.
“And we plan to soon increase the distribution network to 100,” said Dr Abdul Karim Rawash, head of LPG operations at Qatar Fuel (Woqod), which produces and supplies LPG (liquefied petroleum gas or cooking gas) cylinders.
Rawash told Al Sharq that the demand for LPG cylinders was between 10,000 and 12,000 weekly round the year, and it went up to 13,000 to 15,000 weekly during Ramadan. So Woqod enhances its capacity accordingly.
However, in the first week of Ramadan the demand went up to as much as 18,000, he said. Much of the demand is from eateries, cafes and restaurants.
According to Rawash, the company has enough cylinders in reserve and is filling up all cylinder transport carriages. “We are working 24 hours,” he said.
He, though, admitted it was difficult to closely monitor these carriages, which total around 245. “We are, therefore, setting up additional distribution centres and soon their number will be raised to 100,” said Rawash.
All the 12 service stations of Woqod have enough cylinder stocks, he pointed out. About the additional distribution centres being opened up, he said the company was looking into what should be the ideal distance between one centre and the other.
Shopping centres and grocery stores that have the licence to store and sell LPG cylinders would be supplied stocks provided they have appropriate licences of safety and security from the Directorate of Civil Defence and the local municipality.
Rawash said Woqod had recently enhanced its LPG cylinder production capacity to 95,000 weekly. He obliquely hinted that the problems in distribution could be due to the carriages that transport the cylinders.
About the new transparent cylinders, Rawash allayed fears that they were unsafe and said they were instead safer than the older ones that look solid.
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