© File photo
Propane powers this stove, with the refinery at Come By Chance back in full production, suppliers are hoping to able to meet everyone's needs soon.
With the refinery at Come By Chance back in full production, propane suppliers are hoping to be able to meet everyone’s needs for the gas soon.
The power outages that hit the island of Newfoundland in early January caused a disruption in the refinery’s ability to produce propane, leaving the island dependent on propane brought in from the mainland.
Production has been back in full swing since mid-January, according to North Atlantic, which runs the refinery.
Superior Propane delivers most of the propane to users in the province. It says customers have been getting timely deliveries of propane.
“We are in a position now where we are hopefully going to be building up storage very soon,” said Joan Mizzi-Fry of Superior Propane’s communications office. “For our own customers, there is no supply issue. They have been fine.”
Mizzi-Fry explained that there is usually an excess supply of propane produced in Canada, but only half of that supply gets used domestically. The rest, she added, is transported to the United States.
There has been an increased demand for propane in the United States this year because of the extremely cold winter being experienced. A wetter than normal fall also meant an increased demand for propane used in crop drying, she added.
“Because propane is produced at a relatively steady rate yearround by refineries and gas processing plants, there is no ready source of incremental production when supplies run low,” noted Mizzi-Fry.
None of that explains why Brian Barrett, owner of Tuck In restaurant in Corner Brook, was down to the last two per cent of his propane tank capacity last Friday.
“There’s a massive shortage,” said Barrett. “They are telling everyone it’s not a big deal, but they can’t get to everybody. It’s been tough to get propane sometimes and we just keep an eye on it.”
Barrett said he has more of an issue with Superior Propane’s customer service than the fact there doesn’t seem to be enough propane to ensure he can run his restaurant without the worry of running out. He said the company took him off its automatic refill list without notice and he has had trouble getting information about his account with Superior Propane.
“They have no solution in sight and they don’t seem to care,” charged Barrett about his propane concerns.
Mizzi-Fry said Superior Propane had no comment about what Barrett had to say about the propane situation in Newfoundland or his issues with the company.