Going into the September tenth holiday, there is word that three major butane gas suppliers: TOMZA, Zeta and BWEL, are threatening to stop supplying butane to distributors beginning this Friday. Already two Belize City distributors are out of butane and others could be running short as early as this Friday since most depots only keep a three day inventory. Information to News Five is that wholesalers have been seeking a price adjustment of six dollars per one hundred cylinder of gas. The price is regulated and government has to give its nod to any change but it has not agreed to the increase which the suppliers claim is necessary because of the high acquisition costs. They cite heavy financial losses since June of this year and prefer to shutdown rather than continue hemorrhaging from a reported twenty cent loss per cylinder. The representatives of the three companies were not able to meet with Minister Erwin Contreras but have met with Consumer Protection officials in the past two days. As to the status of the required scales following an uproar earlier this year when it appeared that consumers were being short changed, we were told that the three companies have finally acquired and certified the imported scales but that customers do not particularly care to weigh their tanks at purchase. So the situation is that one day away from the holiday, there is threat of a butane shutdown.

Channel 5