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Private fuel stations closing down in Kazakhstan

25 august 2011, 13:29
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Illustration of tengrinews.kz
Illustration of tengrinews.kz
On August 24 owners of fuel stations held a press-conference in Astana, Tengrinews.kz reports. Businessmen told journalists that they cannot keep up their operations under the current conditions. They are asking Kazakhstan Ministry of Oil and Gas to either lower wholesale fuel prices or equate retail price of petrol and diesel fuel with Russian values.

“We suggest the prices in the range of 115 tenge ($0.78) for AI-92 petrol, 93-94 tenge ($0.64) for AI-80 petrol and 100 tenge ($0.68) for diesel fuel. Currently wholesalers fix the rate at 106 tenge ($0.72) for AI-92 petrol, while retail price may not exceed 106 tenge. We cannot work like that,” owner of fuel station in Astana Karmash Mazhitov said.

“Russian price is currently higher than the ceiling set in Kazakhstan. We have a special request to the Minister of Oil and Gas, Government and President to draw their attention to this fact; the situation is critical. Only two fuel stations are selling AI-92 petrol in Astana right now; other fuel stations are closed,” another Astana entrepreneur Sergey Erokhin said.

According to the fuel station owners, production of petrol in Kazakhstan has gone down by 20.2 percent since the beginning of the year, while the number of cars has increased by 23.1 percent and the amount of fuel imported from Russia has been halved.

The business men invited representatives of respective ministries and authorities to take part in the press-conference. Deputy Chairman of the Competition Protection Agency Yerkegali Alimkulov also attended the meeting. “The Competition Protection Agency is currently investigating the situation with 112 participants of the fuel market, including wholesalers,” Alimkulov said.

Yesterday, August 23, Minister of Oil and Gas said that Kazakhstan will not face any significant shortages of petrol.

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