Tuesday, January 19

The cold triggers the demand for butane and depletes the bottles in the warehouses

Bathroom heaters for sale in an appliance store in Alcoy.

Bathroom heaters for sale in an appliance store in Alcoy.
Juan Run

He could of the last days and the forecast that the situation will worsen even more in the next days has skyrocketed the demand for butane gas for stoves and heating, especially in the interior of the province, to the point that cylinders have run out in a timely manner in warehouses. Until now there has been no supply problem, given that stocks have been replenished immediately, but the points of distribution and sale cannot cope with the volume of work that this enormous increase in consumption is supplying.

In the butane distributor warehouse of there, from which supplies the regions of l’Alcoià andExl Comtat, They explain that they live in the front line of this peak of demand, although they assume it with great naturalness and assure that it has not caught them by surprise. Rather, the facility manager, Mario Mira, explains that this “always happens, both when it is could and when parties come”, circumstances that now have also coincided. These situations are more conducive for people to stay in their homes and consequently for a higher demand for heating.

Unloading of butane cylinders at a gas station in Ibi and, on the right, accumulation of empty bottles in the distributor warehouse in this same town. | Juan Run

This year we must add another factor, that of coronavirus pandemic, which further affects that stay at home and the need to keep it warm. The manager of the Ibi warehouse also points to another very important factor: many people prefer to use butane rather than using electrical appliances or turning on the heating, since gas is much cheaper than electricity. Therefore, Mira corroborates, it is normal for demand to increase greatly in a situation of this type. To this is added, as pointed out by a distribution agency in the area, that frequently “People are not far-sighted” and you go to replace your cylinder or even to contract the supply at the same time that the temperatures have already dropped. “It always happens when the could comes suddenly”, as it has been this time. Thus, distributors cope with it with a certain humor, despite the fact that the accumulation of empty bottles in the Ibi warehouse is the obvious image that the volume of work these days is being continuous.

The could triggers the demand for butane and depletes the bottles in the warehouses

Stress at gas stations

They corroborate this stress derived from the could at a gas station in Ibi where there is a butane distribution point, where they explain that, for example, This Monday they sold 70 bottles in just one hour, after they ran out and had to restock. “Crazy,” sums up an employee of this service station, who also points to another factor: the forecast of snowfall for the next few days in the area “has put fear in people’s bodies” regarding the could that it can do, and that has further increased the demand.

In the last five days, thermometers have barely exceeded 7 degrees in Ibi, and frosts have been registered every night, so the need to warm up even more than usual is being a constant. On the other hand, this same gas station operator also refers to the fact that “there are customers who tell us that they prefer to use butane, even if they have electric heating or a boiler”, especially those who have been economically affected by the pandemic and have seen their income diminished.

However, this preference for butane does not prevent stoves from being sold, quite the contrary. In fact, they point out in an appliance store in Alcoy, appliances such as small stoves or heaters for the bathroom are usually a very helpful last-minute gift from the Kings, and this year, with the low temperatures, they have not been an exception. However, they say, people are generally “farsighted” with stoves, bearing in mind that the interior of the province is an area where it is usually could in winter.

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