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Former UGI vice president shares supply lessons learned

June 20, 2022 By     0 Comments

Steve Kossuth exited the propane industry in May after nearly 15 years with AmeriGas and UGI.

Photo of Steve Kossuth

Kossuth

LP Gas visited with Kossuth at the NPGA Southeastern Convention & International Propane Expo in Nashville, Tennessee, asking him about supply-related topics. The outgoing vice president of global LPG supply for UGI pointed to energy independence and energy diversity as being top of mind.

“When you consider what’s happened in Europe with the Ukraine and Russia conflict, Europe is experiencing the ramifications of having a singular source of energy in Russian natural gas. That influences both the natural gas market for obvious reasons as well as LPG,” he said. “It’s an opportunity for LPG to advance its story in energy diversity and promote energy diversity in a carbon-reduced way. That’s what’s really important, and it gives our industry a great sounding board moving forward.”

Reflecting on his time in the propane industry, Kossuth, who also chaired NPGA’s Propane Supply & Logistics Committee, recalled “the first conflict we encountered” – the polar vortex of 2013-14, which created distribution challenges for the industry.

“It taught the industry a lot of lessons,” he said. “We made it through, and people took more of an interest in optionality of supply in being able to advance security of supply. That’s something our industry really rallied behind. Through the conduit of the NPGA, it produced a white paper that advised its members on best practices moving forward. That kicked off for me what was a great foundation in understanding how valuable optionality with surety of supply can really be.”

The polar vortex is among the severe weather events in recent years – including ice storms, wildfires and hurricanes – that promoted lessons learned in propane supply and allowed industry members to place more value in their supply chain, Kossuth said.

“We’re a disaster-recovery fuel. We have a good opportunity now to say natural disasters are things that happen, geopolitical events are things that happen, and optionality and energy diversity are a way to navigate around that,” he said.

About the Author:

Brian Richesson is the editor in chief of LP Gas Magazine. Contact him at brichesson@northcoastmedia.net or 216-706-3748.

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