Un hombre carga un cilindro o balita de gas licuado en Cuba. Foto: AFP / Archivo.

Cuba: Authorities Recognize Deficit of Cylinders for the Supply of Liquefied Gas

Cuban authorities recognized a shortage of cylinders of gas liquefied on the Island, which makes it difficult to supply the product, used by millions of Cubans for the preparation of their food.

“We don’t have enough cylinders to go from the plants, to the warehouses, to go out with full carts to the points and return empty, as we don’t have cylinders at the points of sale,” declared to Cuban News Agency (ACN) Lidia Rodríguez, commercial director of the Fuel Marketing Company, of the Cuba Petroleum Union (Cupet).

Faced with this situation, “the alternative is to go find the void, fill it and return it so that it can be sold,” added the directive.

Rodríguez commented that currently more than 100,000 cylinders, popularly known as balitas, are needed to maintain filling logistics that reach the points of sale to the population, where the vacuum is collected, and “according to the average number of sale is achieved to maintain stability.

“Most of the time, yesterday’s is collected, it is filled and returned, it is done even during extended hours, it is happening throughout the country,” he confirmed.

The board told the ACN that the only cylinder factory that exists on the Island has failed to comply with its delivery plan, both new and repaired, “which makes the supply cycle difficult.” “We tried to make direct imports and it was not possible; The issue of financing is complicated. The only option is the factory, which makes them new or repairs them, but it is insufficient”, he acknowledged.

According to his statements, this deficit cannot be covered in the short term by the factory.

Rodríguez reported that in Cuba there are more than a million clients (family groups) of the liquefied gas service, not counting Havana —where a part of the city is supplied in this way and another through manufactured gas, called “de the street”—and pointed out that his company does not currently have “greater customer satisfaction in terms of gas distribution due to cylinders.”

For his part, Pedro Llerena, general director of the Matanzas Conformation Company (Conformat), the only one of its kind in Cuba in the manufacture and repair of cylinders, reported that from a plan of 45 thousand new 10-kilogram cylinders until June, produce 35,370, although “in the case of the repaired ones, the forecast was exceeded by more than nine thousand units.”

The fundamental reasons for the failure to manufacture new cylinders, he asserted, are due to “insufficient financial availability for the purchase of raw material abroad,” as a result of the United States embargo on the island.

“96.7% of the raw material used for the manufacture of the cylinder is imported, and although the factory has good financial availability, it does not collect money in foreign currency to acquire it because its productions are sold in national currency,” added the manager. .

Llerena affirmed that her entity today has raw material for three months of work, “which will allow them to manufacture some 35,000 new cylinders, and repair some 16,000 more, and they already have financing to buy raw material to repair some 40,000 in the fourth quarter of the year”, details the ACN.

According to the agency, the liquefied gas sales plan in Cuba grew by 29% compared to the previous year, an increase in consumption “associated with the energy situation that the country is experiencing due to the generation deficit, and due to the electrical affectations that impact the population”.

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