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Gas companies release new LPG cylinders

07 Dec 2021

  • Laugfs confirms ‘entirely new shipment’ checked by CAA
  • Litro seal logo on white background; Laugfs seal logo on yellow background
    BY Pamodi Waravita Litro Gas Lanka Ltd. and Laugfs Gas PLC yesterday (6) released new stocks of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) cylinders to the market, following Co-operative Services, Marketing Development, and Consumer Protection State Minister Lasantha Alagiyawanna announcing that the distribution of all LPG cylinders will be halted from 3 December due to a high number of LPG cylinder-related explosions that occurred in the preceding weeks. “All of the stocks that we are releasing into the market from this week are from an entirely new shipment. The CAA (Consumer Affairs Authority) came and checked this shipment yesterday,” Laugfs Gas Chairman W.K.H. Wegapitiya told The Morning yesterday. Media reports show that according to the CAA, the new stock of Litro Gas Lanka’s LPG cylinders can be identified by a polythene seal with a red logo on a white background whilst that of Laugfs Gas is identifiable by a polythene seal with a red logo on a yellow background. Furthermore, Laugfs Gas Director/Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Chaminda Ediriwickrama told The Morning that the CAA has certified the checks that Laugfs Gas carries out when the shipments arrive in the country. “The CAA checked the process we use to monitor the pressure of our cylinders at the shipments and certified it,” said Ediriwickrama. Attempts by The Morning to reach Litro Gas Lanka Chairman Theshara Jayasinghe and Litro Gas Lanka Director – Sales and Marketing/Corporate Affairs Janaka Pathirathna yesterday proved futile. The CAA has put forth three main conditions that the two companies must follow before releasing their stocks to the market, which the companies agreed to on 5 December, following a discussion with Alagiyawanna. The CAA’s conditions are that the companies not release previously imported stocks, that the companies include a standard percentage of mercaptan (an odourant) to ensure that there is a smell to determine a gas leak, and the companies conduct sample checks on every one out of 100 cylinders. The companies are required to inform the CAA’s Technical Committee that they have met these conditions before releasing their products to the market. These decisions were taken following a spate of LPG cylinder-based explosions that occurred in the country in the recent past, with some days averaging over 30 such incidents. An emergency meeting by the Consultative Committee on Trade was convened over the matter in the Parliament last week, following serious allegations that Litro Gas Lanka had changed the usual proportion of the composition of gas from the 70:30 (butane-to-propane) ratio to 50:50, were raised. However, both Laugfs Gas and Litro Gas Lanka have stated that their gas composition falls within the 30% (propane) and 70% (butane) range, as per test results that they have conducted. A parliamentary special advisory committee is due to release a report on the matter within two weeks whilst President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has also appointed an expert committee to investigate the incidents.

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