DOMESTIC Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism (KPDNKK) Ministry officers are conducting spot checks across Sarawak to ensure petrol stations are selling fule at the correct prices, The Borneo Post reports.
Pump prices fell 35 sen for RON97 and 95 to RM2.11 and RM1.91 per litre from Jan 1 while diesel is down 30 sen to RM1.93.
KPDNKK state director Stanley Tan said the ministry was keeping an eye on the supply of RON 97 because motorists were switching to the higher specification fuel on the back of the 20 sen difference between 97 and 95, causing a shortage.
If there was ‘insufficient’ supply of RON97 as in December, the department would instantly notify the oil company to increase supply.
“We have to wait and see. At the moment, everything seems to be okay. If it happens, which may be possible especially after yearend holidays are over, we will notify Shell to increase the supply of RON97,” said Tan.
He said Shell was the supplier of RON97, including to Petronas stations.
Tan said the shortage in December was not only caused by the sudden increase in demand but also because Senari Port was under maintenance and repair.
“Because of maintenance work going on at the port, Shell tankers had to call at the port in Bintulu instead of Kuching. So whenever there is a ‘shortage’ of RON97 in any gas station in Kuching, no immediate refill can be done due to the long distance between Kuching and Bintulu.
“It takes at least 17 hours for the fuel from Bintulu to reach Kuching, resulting in customers unable to get any RON97 in gas stations. What happened in December was not shortage in supply but more of a logistics problem,” Tan explained.
He said maintenance works at Senari Port were expected to be completed after Chinese New Year, after which, he believed, the “shortage’ problem would be a thing of the past”.