Egypt’s supply ministry has launched a new programme delivering butane cooking gas cylinders to households on request.
Starting Tuesday, Egyptians living in the ten areas covered by the programme can request delivery of a gas cylinder within 48 hours by calling 19492, according to a Thursday statement by the Ministry of Supply and Internal Commerce.
Those ordering subsidised cylinders, which cost LE8, will be charged an additional fee of between LE2 to LE5 for delivery.
Commercial cylinders, which cost LE16, will have delivery charges of between LE10 to LE 15, according to the ministry.
The measure aims to facilitate the process of purchasing butane cylinders, ensure the safety and dignity of purveyors and allocate subsidised butane to eligible citizens.
As only a fraction of Egyptian households are linked to the natural gas grid, the vast majority of Egyptians are dependent on refillable butane gas cylinders for heating water and cooking.
Gas cylinders used to generally be delivered by official suppliers without extra delivery charges.
Last December, the Egyptian government more than doubled the price of subsidised butane cylinders, narrowing the scope of those benefiting from the subsidy. The official price of a subsidised 12.5 kg cylinder rose from LE2.75 to LE8.
Butane subsidies amount to LE20 billion ($3.3 billion) annually, around 20 percent of total subsidies granted to fuel in Egypt, according to government data.
The prices was raised after ongoing shortages over the past few years led to cylinders being sold on the black market for prices of up to LE75 each.