The sale of gas cylinders almost doubled over the last two days in “unnecessary” panic buying, according to Liquigas Malta sources.
The run on liquefied petroleum gas started on Tuesday afternoon and intensified yesterday after Prime Minister Robert Abela said Malta was facing a problem sourcing LPG.
The police had to be called in at Pama Supermarket in Mosta yesterday, where the LPG supplier has a popular fixed point of sale, to sort out the traffic chaos caused by the rush.
Malta has security of supply guaranteed for months- Robert Abela
People were buying up to three cylinders instead of the usual one and others who turned up later found that cylinders had run out.
However, Liquigas Malta, the country’s main LPG provider, insisted yesterday there was no reason to panic, reiterating a statement it issued on Tuesday evening saying that supply was sufficient and guaranteed.
It said it had secured supplies of LPG to meet demand for the foreseeable future.
This was 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 over 25 countries worldwide.
The LPG supplied by Liquigas was not from Russia, the company added.
On Tuesday, Abela said that he had been told by an importer of difficulties they were facing in sourcing gas and said the government was working to identify solutions.
He retracted this yesterday, clarifying to The Malta Independent that there was no LPG supply problem in the country and that the gas had been secured for months.
While one importer had supply difficulties, Malta had a liberalised market for LPG and bulk LPG, Abela was quoted as saying.
“Malta has security of supply guaranteed for months and is also guaranteeing price stability not only for gas but also electricity, petrol and diesel,” he added.
Abela said the government would continue giving the needed support to keep prices stable not only for energy and fuel but for all other sectors.
The exact increase in sales yesterday would be quantified at close of business, Liquigas sources said, adding that it was definitely a “heavy” day.
Gas for household use (LPG) is provided by Liquigas and, to a smaller extent, Easygas.
LPG is used to fuel heaters, stoves and ovens and is distinct from liquefied natural gas (LNG), which is burned to generate electricity.
Worldwide pressure on supplies of LPG and LNG has resulted from the invasion of Ukraine and sanctions imposed on Russia.
Earlier this week, Times of Malta also quoted the island’s largest importer of grain warning of a looming crisis in the supply of wheat and other cereals due to the war.