Mekong Delta stations running out of gas with fresh supplies uncertain

By Nguyen Anh, An Minh   October 30, 2022 | 05:02 am PT
Mekong Delta stations running out of gas with fresh supplies uncertain
Gas stations without gas for sale on National Highway 61C in Can Tho. Photo by VnExpress/Nguyen Anh
Several Mekong Delta stations have run out of gas and have had nothing to sell for the last few days except oil. They are also unsure when supplies will resume.

On the National Highway 61C section running through Can Tho's Cai Rang District, the Duong Hung gas station has put up a sign saying it is out of gas and has only oil available. In just 10 minutes, the station had to reject dozens of motorbikes coming in for gas.

"We ran out of gas by 10 a.m. Friday and have only oil left. I saw on the news that it would take a few more days before gas becomes available again," said Nguyen Thanh Tam, an employee at the station.

Along the 40-km long section of the highway, running from Can Tho to Hau Giang Province, several more stations also reported having no gas left.

Nguyen Van Nam, who lives in Can Tho's Cai Rang District, said he had to go around for over 10 km before he could find a station with gas for his car.

Duong Kim Em, whose family owns three gas stations, said gas and oil supplies have been inconsistent. Last week, one of her fuel sources said they had run out and could not say when it would be available again.

Running three stations at the same time in this situation is inflicting on Em a loss of over VND300 million ($12,080) a month.

"I want to quit the business, but I can't. Stations must operate 24/7," she said.

Another business owner with five gas stations in Can Tho, who did not want to be named, said 70-80% of their sales is of gas, normally. But since earlier this week, some shops have had to put up signs saying there was no gas available.

"Our supply is fickle and discounts are low. If this continues for a long time, maybe I would have to consider quitting," he said.

The gas shortage has also affected several stations in Ca Mau Province, forcing them to either fully or partially close down. In Tran Van Thoi District, Song Doc Town, some stations said their gas ran out starting Saturday.

The Song Doc People's Committee said all five private gas stations in the town have not been able to operate at their full capacity more than half a month.

A lack of supply has caused the ongoing gas shortage, according to the Ca Mau Department of Industry and Trade. Current regulations dictate that gas and oil retailers can only get fuel from one distributor, so when the supply chain breaks, they would not be able to switch to a new distributor.

"We are working to list out gas and oil demands of each district. We will work with distributors next," said Duong Vu Nam, deputy director of the department.

Nguyen Vu Truong, deputy director of the Hau Giang trade department, also said there was a gas shortage in the province. The department will meet with businesses next week to try and resolve the issue, he added.

A representative of the Soc Trang trade department said several of its oil and gas retailers were unable to find gas supply sources. Vo Van Chieu, director of the department, said he has proposed to the Ministry of Industry and Trade that it arranges 75,000 m3 of gas and oil supplies until the end of the year, especially ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday in January.

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