By Enaam El Adawy
The Ministry of Petroleum will seek to pump an additional 2m litres of diesel over the next two days in order to meet the country’s increasing demand, which has led to a number of diesel fuel lines popping up throughout the country.
Hossam Arafat, president of the petroleum resources division in the public federation for Egypt’s Chamber of Commerce, has said that the petroleum ministry planned on increasing its daily production of diesel from 33 to 35m litres, which was expected to help solve the crisis by next week.
He added that the crisis was worst in Upper Egypt, saying that the country’s bakery owners contributed to making matters worse by queuing up for diesel fuel, instead of using stockpiles they are legally obliged to maintain.
Mohamed Saad, member of the petroleum resources division in Egypt’s Chamber of Commerce said the crisis began when diesel importers began insisting on receiving their shipments in advance. This stemmed from their fear that the shipment of their share of diesel would be delayed.
This has led to a two day postponement of money transfers, in addition to drivers storing fuel in fear of shortages—with the upcoming second anniversary of the 25 January revolution.
Khaled Ezzat, owner of a gas station in Imbaba, demanded an increase in the amount of imported fuel being sent to gas stations, in order to help meet the country’s increasing consumption demands. He added that the crisis had helped to create an expanding black market for fuel, a further sign of an impending crisis. He stated that that battles and disputes continued to be fought between taxi and micro bus drivers and owners of gas stations over the allocation and distribution of diesel.