Importing companies are already upping the number of reservoirs for gas storage so as to avoid future severe gas shortages" />

Armenia left without liquefied gas as road through Upper Lars closed

Importing companies are already upping the number of reservoirs for gas storage so as to avoid future severe gas shortages

Liquefied gas cannot reach Armenia because of snowfall on the Upper Lars border checkpoint. Drivers whose cars have been outfitted with tanks for liquefied gas have been unable to drive for a week now.

How did the shortage come about?

There are several reasons for the liquefied gas shortage in Armenia. The primary one is bad weather. The country mainly imports liquefied gas from Russia. The only road for the transport thereof leads through the Upper Lars border checkpoint. Since 31 December, it has often been closed because of snow. Driving conditions are also difficult on the roads in southern Armenia, complicating gas imports from Iran. Liquefied gas has, overall, not been brought into Armenia for two weeks.

The second reason is the growing demand for liquefied gas. Growing numbers of drivers are outfitting their vehicles with special tanks, because liquefied gas is cheaper than petrol.

Moscow-Sukhum/i-Tbilisi-Yerevan

The fate of Georgian-Russian transit trade through Abkhazia and South Ossetia

What are drivers saying?

Drivers have been facing fuel problems for a week. Signs reading ‘no gas’ can be seen at many gas pumps.

“I went to several places today. There’s no gas anywhere. I ended up having to use petrol. And the situation’s been this way for a few days now,” says one of the drivers.

The lack of gas has become a problem not only for drivers, but also for those residents of the country whose houses have not been connected to gas mains. They also cannot fill their gas tanks.

As a result, large queues have formed at filling stations where liquefied gas is still being sold.

The situation might be resolved soon

It’s possible that the situation will soon be resolved. The Upper Lars border checkpoint is periodically reopened. It’s well-known that two cisterns of liquefied gas has already made it to Yerevan, though the sharp deficit is still being felt.

The vice-president of one of the importing companies, Jirayr Ahanejyan, announced that there are another six cisterns on the way:

“We haven’t received gas since 31 December as the road was closed. There have always been problems at Upper Lars, but this year the bad weather stuck around longer. All of our reserves have been depleted. During this time we’ve increased our number of gas storage reservoirs, so in the future such a situation shouldn’t occur.”


More on JAMnews