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Who will benefit from gas nationalization?

Posted: Friday, August 30, 2019. 2:54 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: The future National LPG Company (NLPGC) will be Government-owned in a quarter century. That is what was revealed at today’s debate of the associated Bill in the Senate.

The Government owns 25% of shares in the planned company; the rest is split between various Belizean investors and a participating American country. Belize can own the facilities to be built within 15 years.

Under the agreement between the NLPGC and Government, it has a monopoly on the importation of LPG and various tax concessions. The hope and plan is that prices will be reduced, but Senator for the Trade Unions and Civil Society Elena Smith expressed her skepticism about that.

But as pointed out by Government Senator Aldo Salazar, the Central American-Mexican concerns that currently dominate the market work through Guatemala, meaning if the western border were ever closed, Belizeans, of whom 83% use butane, would be in serious trouble.

While supporting the motion, Business Senator Mark Lizarraga called on the Bureau of Standards to get its act together on regulating the industry, but otherwise he was in favor of what he termed a “brilliant” plan put together by some members of the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI).

The bill is to be read a second time and then approved in committee.


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