‘Business as usual’: LPG distributor not worried about supply

Government pledges to do ‘whatever it takes’ to cushion the economic impact of Ukraine war


Liquigas Malta has secured enough supplies of LPG “for a good number of months” and the company is not worried that its supply sources might run dry, BusinessToday has learned.

A senior Liquigas Malta official told this newspaper that it was, in fact, “business as usual” and that consumers should not be worried about a lack of supply of LPG because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Robert Abela said that Malta was facing a problem sourcing LPG used in households as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

LPG is used for cooking and heating purposes and is supplied to households in cylinders of varying sizes. It is also used as a fuel in some cars and in industrial settings.

In a statement issued later that day, Liquigas Malta said that it has secured supplies of LPG to meet demand in Malta for the foreseeable future.

“Liquigas Malta has confirmed with the relevant authorities that it has secured supplies of LPG required to meet demand in Malta for the foreseeable future,” the company said.

Sources told BusinessToday that Liquigas only sourced a small percentage of gas from Russia.

They said that, following the Russian invasion, the company had already secured alternate supply sources, thanks to the support of SHV Energy, a Dutch company shareholder of Liquigas Malta, which is a global leader in the distribution of LPG across more than 25 countries worldwide.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the raft of sanctions imposed on Russia have forced international energy and fuel prices to shoot up. The war also threatens the global supply of grains and wheat since Ukraine and Russia are major suppliers.

By tomorrow, EU leaders are expected to agree to reduce the bloc’s dependence on Russian gas and oil. The move will impact Russia’s main economic lifeline but it will also hit European consumers hard.

The US and the UK have announced a ban of their own on Russian oil imports in a bid to tighten the economic noose around Vladimir Putin’s regime.

Government to do ’whatever it takes’ to cushion impact of war

Finance minister Clyde Caruana said the government is expected to spend more than the €200 million earmarked in the last budget to cushion the economic impact of war in Ukraine.

He insisted the government would do “whatever it takes” to shield people and businesses from the economic shocks of war.

“We will use more than €200 million earmarked in the last budget but we are able to do this because the deficit last year was lower than anticipated and this gives us more leeway,” Caruana said on Wednesday afternoon.

Earlier, Prime Minister Robert Abela pledged limitless financial support to cushion the impact of war on people and businesses.

Caruana was asked about the size of the financial cushion government was willing to put up in the wake of the Ukraine war, which is also turning into an economic war.

“We did all we could to save economy and jobs during the pandemic and now that we are experiencing a recovery we cannot allow the war to disrupt this,” Caruana said.

He said the war is causing supply shocks and the price of oil has shot up to what it was during the height of the financial crisis in 2008.

Aid to sectors

Prime Minister Robert Abela said earlier on Wednesday that the government would continue to provide financial support “whatever the cost” to ensure energy and fuel prices remain stable despite the Ukraine war.

The Prime Minister added that targeted help was being given to the animal husbandry sector that has been hit by higher costs in animal feed spurred by the war.

“We will continue giving all the support necessary to keep energy and fuel prices stable… we will protect the people [from inflation] and at this juncture of strong economic recovery we will continue to provide support to ensure growth,” Abela said.

Asked whether the figure of €200 million set aside by the Finance Minister in the last budget to cushion energy price rises would be revised upwards, Abela said support will continue being given “whatever the cost” and until it is necessary.

Asked whether the Labour Party will be re-evaluating its electoral proposals in view of the changed international circumstances because of the Ukraine war, Abela insisted the pledges are “costed and sustainable”.

Ukrainian refugees

On Malta’s humanitarian assistance to Ukraine, Abela said that 26 Ukrainians had arrived here and applied for refugee status.

“This morning we started talks with Puttinu Cares to assist children requiring cancer treatment. We will be treating Ukrainian child cancer patients and Malta has also sent medical supplies,” Abela said, adding that within its limitations, Malta will continue showing solidarity with Ukrainians.

The Prime Minister was taking questions after presiding over an announcement in Ħal Far of a new investment by Indian pharmaceuticals firm Torrent Pharma.

During his speech, Abela said Malta will be assisting “our Ukrainian brothers and sisters” as he emphasised the need for peace and stability in Europe.

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