CAIRO: Mahmoud Nazeem, Deputy Minister of Petroleum denied Monday rumors of an increase in the price of diesel fuel, that has led to over-crowding in filling stations.
Taxis, buses, and some private cars have, however, been complaining from diesel fuel shortages. On Sunday queues in some filling stations stretched up to 500 meters.
Local bakeries also complained that they were only able to run their ovens for a limited time and a few tour bus drivers said that they could not meet their travel schedules because of the ongoing shortages, according to local press reports.
Nazeem assured that the fuel sector pumps approximately 40 million liters of diesel fuel daily into local market in Egypt’s governorates.
He called on consumers to calm down and ignore rumors of price hikes and decreased the quantities.
“The fuel sector will provide additional quantities of diesel fuel directly to filling stations to be delivered to the consumers as soon as possible and restore the stability at the stations, Nazeem said in a statement sent to Daily News Egypt.
Locally-produced diesel fuel represents nearly 75 percent of total consumption, while the remaining 25 percent is imported. Available reserves in Egypt would cover the 25 percent Egypt imports for more than 20 days, said Nazeem.
One manager of a gas station on Cairo’s ring road was quoted in local reports as saying that his daily share of diesel fuel was reduced from 50,000 liters to only 18,000 liters.
Another one claimed that he had to call the police to resolve clashes between taxi drivers who were fed up with waiting in a half-kilometer queue.
He also said that his daily share was slashed to less than the half, from 80,000 liters to 30,000.
In the 2008, the price of diesel fuel (known as solar) went up from LE 0.90 to LE 1.10.
A microbus driver confirmed to Daily News Egypt that there were shortages, but that the fuel was available in the black market for LE 1.25.
However, when Daily News Egypt approached a gas station manager in Dokki, he had no complaints, emphasizing that they didn’t face any shortages. He later added that he is not allowed to speak to the press.