By Alexis R. Milan
Venezuela has sent its last shipment of premium gasoline to Belize under the PetroCaribe agreement for the foreseeable future, said John Mencias, deputy chairman of Alba-Petro Caribe Belize Energy Limited (APBEL).
According to Mencias, that shipment of fuel has already left Venezuela and is scheduled to arrive in Belize on Sunday. He added that this arrangement is temporary, and that Venezuela may resume sending premium fuel to Belize, but such an arrangement has no timeline.
Mencias said that PUMA Energy, Belize’s petroleum importer, has already begun to look for an alternative source for premium fuel. He advised that consumers shouldn’t worry about not being able to get premium gasoline at the pump, since most vehicles in Belize do just fine running on regular gasoline.
Mencias said Venezuela’s economic situation may have factored into the decision to cut shipments of premium gasoline. He said he wasn’t aware of any operational problems at the refinery.
Mencias pointed out that current fuel prices at the pump, are the lowest they have been in recent years. In Corozal the price of fuel is even lower than the price in Chetumal, although only marginally lower. Still, Mencias said, it represents a significant decrease reflected around the world.
Regular gas in Belize sells for $7.57 a gallon.