x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Fuel shortages could ease

While several new petrol stations may be open within weeks, answers to the petrol shortage remain as scarce as fuel itself.

SHARJAH // As the Northern Emirates remain in the grip of a weeks-long fuel shortage, motorists are seeing hope in the building of several new Adnoc stations.

Engineers were working hard to have a facility on Kalba Road completed by next month, said a worker at the site who declined to give his name.

"We have had some orders to increase our speed," he said. "We hope that by next month the station should be ready."

Another station, near the new Sharjah municipality headquarters, is also nearing completion. Nearby residents say they have noticed an increased urgency to the work.

"I can see work going on even after 7pm now, and so far what they have completed is a lot compared to what was here a month back," said Ihsan Mahdi, 40. "We want them to finish quickly to help solve this petrol shortage problem."

Nuri Din Ahmed, from Pakistan who was refilling his vehicle at an Emarat station, said more Adnoc stations - and more Adnoc supply - would help to stabilise the situation.

"For Adnoc, a government company, we are assured of their continuous supply," he said. "We support them to take on most of the supply from these private companies that cut supply without any communication."

Adnoc will open three new stations in Ajman, Umm al Qawain and Ras Khaimah in the coming few weeks, Abdullah Salim Al Dhahri, the director general of Adnoc Distribution told Al Ittihad newspaper yesterday.

Three other stations in Sharjah, Fujairah and RAK were to be opened in the near future. The stations had been planned since before the fuel shortage.

Meanwhile, motorists yesterday had fewer places to buy petrol, with Eppco and Enoc stations still dry and long queues at Adnoc and Emarat stations. Several Emarat stations, including the one on Corniche Road, had only one pump working by midday yesterday.

Eppco and Enoc stations in Sharjah have been completely out of petrol for weeks. A company spokesman has said the shortage was caused by technical upgrades at the facilities, but no such work is taking place at any of its facilities in Sharjah.

The Sharjah executive council gave the company an ultimatum for a solution or an explanation more than a week ago, but there has been no public response.