KUCHING, Dec 2: Sarawakians are encouraged to participate in the distribution of the newly launched Petroleum Sarawak Berhad (Petros) red “tong gas” to ensure that even the remotest areas in the state will be able to enjoy the safe and affordable gas supply.
Minister of Utilities Datuk Seri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom revealed that there were 95 Sarawakian companies currently involved in transporting, distributing and retailing in the LPG value chain, which was licensed under Section 7(g) of the Distribution of Gas Ordinance (DGO) 2016.
“With the launching of Petros LPG today, we encouraged more Sarawakians to participate and get involved in the LPG distribution businesses to ensure adequate, reliable, quality, efficient, affordable and safe gas supply for domestic consumers in the state.
“Now with the cylinders to the smallest size possible, we can transport them all the way to even to the most remote areas in Sarawak,” he said in his remarks at the launching of Petros Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg at Kubah Ria Complex here today.
As such, Dr Rundi emphasised that it was very important to fully support Petros’ endeavours and efforts to make sure that this supply chain of gas throughout Sarawak especially the rural areas will be guaranteed for the people of Sarawak.
“Ministry of Utilities, as the regulator of gas distribution in Sarawak, welcomes and will facilitate Petros’ role as a domestic gas aggregator and implementor of the Sarawak Gas Masterplan to drive the socio-economic growth and to uplift economic and social well being of Sarawakians,” he said.
Since 1990, he shared that the government subsidised the coverage of LPG use by households at almost 50 per cent and set a current control price for 14kg LPG-filled cylinder at RM26.60 (RM1.90/kg as compared to the market price of approximately RM4.20/kg or RM59.80/14kg).
“Subsidising the use of LPG fuel for households has been a significant policy measure towards widening coverage, hence it is imperative that my Ministry is empowered to enforce effectively and protect the interests of gas consumers in the state.
“One of the main objectives of the Ministry is to ensure that subsidised LPG truly benefits the right gas consumers especially for rural households where distribution costs have escalated LPG cylinder prices and created a disproportionate urban-rural pricing gap,” he added.
Untargeted use of LPG subsidies and the urban-rural pricing gap for household LPG, he continued, were two areas where the Ministry will strengthen efforts towards enforcement and stakeholder engagement.
Towards this, Dr Rundi assured that his Ministry will continue to strengthen greater regulatory and policy coherence with other state ministries and agencies as well as to streamline business procedures that promote private investment into and participation in the state’s gas distribution activities.
Minister of Local Government and Housing Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah and Petros Board of Directors chairman Tan Sri Hamid Bugo were present. -DayakDaily