The government is pushing back against claims that LP gas is in short supply in Cuenca and Azuay Province. It also says there has been no change in the subsidized price.
Reports of a gas shortage and a price increase circulated last week on social media and continued over the weekend.
“Our supply and delivery system for gas in Cuenca and the southern region of Ecuador has not changed and the cost per unit remains unchanged,” the national Hydrocarbons Regulation and Control Agency (ARCH) said on Saturday, adding, “The subsidy continues in effect and there is no discussion of changing it.”
ARCH said that reports about a price increase were prompted by a hike in delivery charges added to the cost of gas. “We understand that some customers are paying $3 a tank for home delivery but this is unrelated to the government’s official price of $1.60.” ARCH said most companies continue to charge a 90-cent fee for delivery, making the per-tank cost $2.50.”
The agency said it is contacting gas supply and delivery companies to verify if delivery costs have increased.
The $1.60 for a tank of LP gas represents a 75 percent subsidy that has been in effect for 15 years, an ARCH spokesman said. The elimination of the gas subsidy was discussed during the administration of former president Rafael Correa but was scrapped following protests.