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In Belgium, service stations stormed by the French: is a fuel shortage likely to arrive here?

  • Post category:Economy News
  • Reading time:3 mins read

Fuel demand at service stations near the French border has increased by 15-20% in recent days.

A month ago Belgians crossed the border to refuel at a bargain price in France. The situation was reversed following the blocking of French refineries. In Beauraing and Hastière, in the south of Namur, we regularly check fuel stocks, because for the past few days, the number of customers from France has increased significantly.

At Givet, some pumps are dry. It is therefore quite naturally towards the neighboring Belgian municipalities that the French are heading. On the Beauraing side, the queues are slowly starting to lengthen. Towards Hastière, the crowds are also increasing day by day. At the Esso station of the Warin group, the situation is identical.

With the blocking of refineries on the other side of the border, the Belgians are recovering some of the customers lost after the French decision to reduce excise duties or even the gesture of the Total group (in September and October minus 20 cents and minus ten cents for the last two months of the year).

In the event that access to refineries is unblocked, not everything immediately returns to normal. It will be necessary to relaunch the refineries and reprogram transport.

In France, all the pumps are almost empty

The shortage of fuel in certain French petrol pumps therefore pushes cross-border workers to refuel in Belgium. “In France, all the pumps are practically empty. I come here because I’m almost dry”says a Frenchman.

When there is fuel in France, why come to Belgium where fuel is more expensive? “It avoids long queues. I prefer to come here, I save time”.

If the 5 blocked French refineries are working again, the restart of supply will not be immediate. “To relaunch a refinery, you actually need a little time for rehabilitation. It will not be done within 24 hours to resupply all the service stations in France. It goes from south to north. road. It may take a week before we can find a normal fuel situation in French stations. The Belgians will be able to meet the demand of the French”, says Olivier Neirynck, technical director of Brafco, the Belgian federation of fuel and fuel traders.

A shortage of fuel at the pump, as France is currently experiencing, is there a risk of it arriving in Belgium? “No, because the entire refining and oil logistics tool is working at full capacity without any problem in Belgium. There is no strike action and therefore we can ensure the resupply of service stations on time and on time. We do not not risk having a situation similar to what we can have in France”, concludes Olivier Neirynck, technical director of Brafco, the Belgian federation of fuel and fuel traders.