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A Colombian senator has called on energy stakeholders to ramp up propane production to ease supply shortages in the country's south.
The liberal party's Guillermo García Realpe said residents in Nariño, Caquetá, Putumayo, Cauca, Valle del Cauca and Huila departments were among the worst affected due to their reliance on the gas for cooking, heating, hot water and refrigeration.
"It's the people who live in the poorest areas ... who depend on propane gas cylinders, that are most affected and we cannot allow the problem to continue," García Realpe said in comments published on the senate's website.
The lawmaker added that he was left with a "bittersweet" taste after a senate committee debate this week involving officials from state oil company Ecopetrol, gas market regulator Creg and the energy ministry.
"It is worrying that neither Ecopetrol, Creg or the ministry take a clear stance on the subject given that we have large refineries such as Reficar and Barrancabermeja that produce more than 800,000b/d," the senator said.
García Realpe also vowed to push for further LPG subsidies for consumers and called for the construction of a new pipeline linking a proposed gas processing plant in Yumbo, near the Pacific coast, to Colombia's south.