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SLSI to inspect imported LPG quality

27 Dec 2021

  • Alagiyawanna promises gazette soon
  • SLSI to be empowered to even inspect foreign LPG makers overseas 
  BY Pamodi Waravita Co-operative Services, Marketing Development, and Consumer Protection State Minister Lasantha Alagiyawanna said yesterday (27) that a gazette will be issued in the near future to allow the Sri Lanka Standards Institute (SLSI) to inspect the quality of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) that is imported into the country. “The Imports and Exports Control Department has already given the power of inspecting imported LPG to the SLSI. A gazette will also be issued about this soon. Furthermore, SLSI officials will be empowered to visit LPG-manufacturing countries and inspect the quality of LPG production as well,” Alagiyawanna told The Morning yesterday. Last week, the Co-operative Services, Marketing Development, and Consumer Protection State Ministry said that all short-term recommendations made to ensure the safety of consumers of LPG have already been implemented and that it is in the process of implementing the long-term recommendations. Western Province Senior Deputy Inspector General of Police Deshabandu Tennakoon said last week that 847 domestic LPG cylinder-related incidents were reported this year, with seven deaths and 16 injuries. The Presidential Expert Committee appointed to investigate the recent LPG cylinder-related explosions has blamed the increase in the propane ratio for the explosions. Committee Chairman Prof. Shantha Walpolage confirmed that the Committee has observed this gas composition change in the samples of related products of both the companies, Litro Gas Lanka Ltd. and Laugfs Gas PLC. Thus, Prof. Walpolage said that the most immediate recommendations made by the Committee were to keep the propane percentage at less than 30% and to increase the level of the odourant ethyl mercaptan in the cylinders so that a gas leak is more easily detectable. On 17 December, the Court of Appeal instructed Litro Gas Lanka and Laugfs Gas PLC to only distribute LPG cylinders which are in compliance with the regulations put forth by the SLSI. The SLSI said on 20 December that the composition must be 30:70 (propane:butane) within a gas cylinder. Technology Ministry Secretary and Presidential Committee appointed to investigate LPG-related incidents Co-ordinator Jayantha De Silva said that from the three ships carrying new stocks of LPG to Litro Gas Lanka, two are completely cleared for distribution as they meet the required standards for the gas composition and ethyl mercaptan. One ship has been banned from distribution due to the stocks not reaching the correct level of ethyl mercaptan. Expert Committee Member Prof. (Retd.) W.D.W. Jayathilake also claimed that Geo Chem Lanka (Pvt.) Ltd., the private lab testing the samples of the State’s Litro Gas Lanka, had admitted to the use of an expired gas sample for Litro Gas Lanka’s reports attesting to the maintenance of the proper gas ratio. The Presidential Expert Committee has made over 25 long-term recommendations to all institutions and companies related to the industry, including the Consumer Affairs Authority, the Industrial Technology Institute, the Sri Lanka Accreditation Board for Conformity Assessment, and the SLSI.  

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