The lorry strike added with the shut down of the Indian Oil Corporation Ltd at Udayamperoor plant is all set to create severe LPG shortage in the city. The supply of LPG has already dried up and agencies are finding it hard to provide LPG cylinders to consumers. One of the major players of the LPG market in Kerala, the IOC’s supply has been severely affected these days.
At present, the IOC has more than 80 agents in Ernakulam, Thrissur and Kottayam districts. The supply to these agencies has completely ceased. Around 40,000 cylinders were being bottled from Udayamperoor plant each day and with the shutdown of the plant, this high number of cylinders are not reaching customers. If the current situation continues, IOC customers are bound to be affected.
“The disruption in bulk LPG supplies to bottling plants in Kerala has resulted in many Oil Industry LPG bottling plants going dry and as a result, supply of gas cylinders to the public has started to get affected. If this situation continues, the backlog in refill supplies is expected to build up in some markets of Kerala in the coming days. Besides the production from the Udayamperoor plant has shutdown after the cancellation of explosive licence by Petroleum and Explosive Safety Organisation,” Vetriselvakumar, Senior Corporate Communication Manager said.
He said the IOC is persuading transporters to place their trucks for moving bulk LPG from both Kochi and Mangalore. For this they have sought the assistance of the Government of Kerala to convene a tripartite meeting involving oil industry, LPG transporters and government so that the issue can be resolved at the earliest,” Vetriselvakumar added.
A T Venugopal, a proprietor of Super Gas agency, said his agency is facing shortage of over 3,000 cylinders each week. “The supply has been affected with the closure of plant and the lorry strike. If the situation continues we will not be able to supply gas to the customers,” A T Venugopal said. Hindustan Petroleum officials said that their supply will come to a standstill if the lorry strike continues.
“We have two plants in Kerala -Palakkad and Kochi. The production from Palakkad has been affected after tanker lorries from Mangalore refused to come here. Currently, the production in Kochi plant connected with BPCL refinery is still on. But since the trucks supplying cylinders are not operating,only few cylinders are supplied to agencies. If the strike continues the supply will have to be closed,” Vinod Kumar, Senior official of Hindustan Petroleum said.
BPCL officials said that they too are affected by the strike. The LPG of BPCL are supplied through pipeline to private agencies. But LPG cylinders through truck loads have been affected and many truck lorries are still at the BPCL plant.