NBSM gives 15-day deadline to gas companies to acquire NS mark

Kathmandu, January 8

Nepal Bureau of Standards and Metrology (NBSM) - the national standard body of the government - has given 15 days to domestic liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) bottling plants to acquire Nepal Standard (NS) certification from the government and maintain other safety and quality standards.

After gas bottling companies geared up to acquire NS certification and comply with the government standards, NBSM today lifted the operation ban enforced last week on four gas companies. Last week, NBSM had shut down two gas companies of Kavre (Chandeswori Gas Udhyog and Surya Gas Enterprise) and two Dhading-based gas companies (Om Gas Udhyog and Namaste Gas) after it was found that the gas bottling plants were not operating as per the legal mandate.

“Following aggressive inspection from NBSM, gas companies have finally agreed to obtain NS certification from the government as soon as possible. We have directed all gas bottling plants to obtain the NS certification within 15 days,” informed Bishwobabu Pudasaini, director general of NBSM.

There are altogether 53 gas bottling plants in Nepal.

As per Pudasaini, the operational ban on aforementioned gas companies were lifted also because the gas companies have major market share in the Kathmandu Valley and halt in production of those gas plants would directly affect Valley's consumers.

However, Pudasaini said that NBSM will again crosscheck quality standards of gas bottling plants after 15 days and may even shut down the gas companies found to be compromising on the quality standards.

Citing that domestic gas bottling plants have repeatedly flouted quality and safety standards, which has posed accidental threats, NBSM last week formed a separate gas plant monitoring committee, which has begun to inspect quality standards of all gas companies.

Though gas companies were directed to acquire NS certification long time back, only four (Nepal Gas, Shree Krishna Gas, Manoj Gas and Sai Baba Gas) have acquired the certification from the government so far.

Following pressure from the government, gas bottlers have finally initiated the process to acquire NS certification recently. As per NBSM officials, gas bottlers are increasingly applying for NS certification after NBSM initiated inspections.

Meanwhile, Nepal LP Gas Industry Association (NLPGIA) has sent a letter to NBSM today to initiate the process of acquiring NS certificate for its members and urged NBSM to grant the gas bottlers some additional time for the same.

Prior to inspections from NBSM at gas plants, gas bottlers had been saying that they were 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 investment.