Nepal | May 30, 2020

Gas bottlers finally gear up to acquire NS mark

Nepal Bureau of Standards and Metrology shuts down two LPG bottling companies of Kavre

Sujan Dhungana
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Kathmandu, January 5

Gas bottling plants finally seem to be getting serious about complying with the government set standards for the industry, as the meeting of Nepal LP Gas Industry Association (NLPGIA) held today evening has taken an institutional decision to initiate the process to acquire Nepal Standard (NS) certification.

“The association’s meeting today has decided to send a letter on Sunday to Nepal Bureau of Standards and Metrology (NBSM) to initiate the process of acquiring NS certificate for our members,” said Shiva Ghimire, immediate past president of NLPGIA.

The decision of the association has come following the action taken by NBSM today against two gas companies of Kavre for failing to meet safety and quality standards set by the government.

The NBSM monitoring team today directed Chandeswori Gas Udhyog and Surya Gas Enterprise of Thapagaun, Kavre to stop production, bottling and distribution of cooking gas until further notice.

As per NBSM officials, the District Administration Office (DAO) of Kavre and Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) have been notified about the NBSM decision regarding the aforementioned liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) bottling plants.

“The state of safety and quality measures in production, bottling process of gas and LPG cylinders of these two gas companies was deplorable. Apart from not having acquired Nepal Standard (NS) certification from the government, it was found that they had not conducted hydrostatic test of gas cylinders since a long time and were not using safety caps on LPG cylinders,” said Bishwo Babu Pudasaini, director general of NBSM.

As per government rule, gas companies must mandatorily carry out hydrostatic test of their LPG cylinders every five years.

Hydrostatic test refers to a way in which pressure vessels such as pipelines, plumbing, fuel tanks and gas cylinders are tested for strength and leaks. The test measures a cylinder’s capacity to withstand pressure.

“These gas bottling companies had not carried out the hydrostatic test of LPG cylinders even though they have the machines to conduct such tests,” added Pudasaini.

Besides this, staffers involved in the bottling process of LPG cylinders in the concerned gas companies were not properly trained, as per NBSM.

Along with Chandeswori Gas Udhyog and Surya Gas Enterprise, NBSM also inspected Sagarmatha Gas Udhyog of Kavre. Though Sagarmatha Gas had applied for NS certification, the company had not fulfilled other processes to acquire the certification. Hence, the NBSM inspection team directed Sagarmatha Gas to complete the process to acquire the NS quality certification as soon as possible.

Citing that domestic LPG bottling plants are repeatedly flouting quality and safety standards, which have posed a threat of accidents, NBSM has begun inspecting gas companies from today. NBSM plans to carry out safety audits of all 53 gas bottling companies and take action against all gas bottling plants that have not acquired NS certification from the government and/or are not complying with other safety and quality standards.

On Sunday, NBSM had said that it would inspect gas bottling plants in Birgunj and other Tarai districts.

While LPG bottlers have been saying that they are not in a position to upgrade to the new standards that the government has enforced for LPG bottling companies as it requires gas plants to inject huge additional investments, the NLPGIA has called a special general assembly next Friday (January 12) to discuss NBSM’s action against the two bottling plants.

 


A version of this article appears in print on January 06, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.


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