Gas doubles restaurant prices in Deir Ezzor

A pastry shop in the eastern countryside of Deir Ezzor - January 30, 2024 (Enab Baladi/Obadah al-Sheikh)

A pastry shop in the eastern countryside of Deir Ezzor - January 30, 2024 (Enab Baladi/Obadah al-Sheikh)

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The countryside of Deir Ezzor is experiencing an increase in gas prices on the black market, where the price of a gas cylinder ranges between 250,000 and 350,000 Syrian pounds, reflecting on the prices of restaurants and sweets in the region.

Mazen al-Eid, one of the workers in the traditional sweets industry from the eastern countryside of Deir Ezzor, told Enab Baladi that the price of a gas cylinder was 100,000 Syrian pounds, but it rose in recent weeks.

The new prices have imposed an additional financial burden on al-Eid, especially with traders exploiting the needs of sweet manufacturers and restaurant owners, imposing high prices.

The exchange rate of the US dollar is 14,650 Syrian pounds, according to the S-P Today website, which specializes in currency exchange rates.

On January 16, The Executive Council of the Jazira region affiliated with the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES) announced that the al-Suwaydiya power generation station suffered 100% destruction and was put completely out of service.

The Turkish strikes focused on the gas turbines belonging to the General Electricity Corporation and another for the Rmeilan Oil Company, in addition to the power transformers and power conversion yards, which rendered them completely out of service, according to the council.

The station contains a gas plant that was destroyed as a result of the Turkish bombing, in addition to the damage to most of the equipment for producing domestic gas therein.

The director of the al-Suwaydiya gas plant, on January 16, in statements carried by the local North Press website, said that the plant was “completely paralyzed” due to the strikes, and the tanks were emptied of gas and solvents.

The plant at the station is the only one among the other plants that supplies gas to the areas of northeast Syria.

Financial burdens prevent citizens from buying

Yamen al-Mulla, one of the restaurant owners in the western village of al-Jardi in the countryside of Deir Ezzor, needs a gas cylinder daily, and the prices have begun to form a financial burden on him.

He told Enab Baladi that he was forced to raise prices by 20% after the increase in the price of gas cylinders a few days ago.

Complaints about the prices were also mentioned by Laith al-Wais, a resident of al-Dahla village in the same countryside, noting that the increase deprives many of purchasing meals or sweets, especially under difficult economic conditions.

Al-Wais earns a monthly salary of one million Syrian pounds, which does not suffice him for more than ten days per month.

Meanwhile, Khaldoun al-Kalash, one of the workers in the sweets factories, said that the prices suddenly rose for the customers, and while the price of a kilogram of sweets ranged between 25,000 and 35,000 Syrian pounds, it now ranges between 50,000 and 60,000 Syrian pounds, affecting sales movement.

Ahmed al-Ghadban, a gas depot owner, told Enab Baladi that the rise in gas prices is due to the rise in fuel prices in the region, explaining that the current price of a liter of diesel has reached 1,500 Syrian pounds, after the Autonomous Administration decided to import gas from Iraq and price it at ten dollars.

He pointed out that the demand for gas has decreased significantly after its price increase.

An official from the Syrian Company for the Storage and Distribution of Petroleum Products (SADCOP), responsible for the distribution of fuels in the region, (who asked not to be named as he is not authorized to speak to the media), told Enab Baladi that the decisions to raise the price of domestic gas are temporary.

He explained that the increase will continue until the al-Suwaydiya station is repaired and put back into operation, which may take between one to two months, after which the old prices will return again.

 

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