All gas bottling plants apply for NS mark

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Feb 15, 2018-

Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) bottling companies that were defying the government instruction to meet safety requirements have applied for the Nepal Standard (NS) certificates after the Nepal Bureau of Standards and Metrology (NBSM) tightened the noose around them.

There are 55 LPG bottling companies operating in the country. Of these companies, only seven have received the NS mark from the NBSM so far. 

Earlier in November 2016, the bureau had enforced the LPG Bottling Plant Operation Standards and directed gas plants to obtain NS certificates within three months. At that time, only four gas bottlers applied for and obtained NS certificates. There were: Manoj Gas Industry, Birgunj; Shree Krishna Gas Industry, Dhading; Sai Baba Gas Industry, Dhading; and Nepal Gas Industry, Balaju. 

Other gas bottling plants failed to apply for the certificate within the deadline stating compliance with the new rule would push up their operating costs. At that time, the regulator also did not show much interest to enforce its directive. 

The NBSM rushed to implement its directive only after the devastating fire at Super Gas Factory in Sukhasaina, Parsa, on December 20. The incident claimed lives of three people. Right after the accident, the NBSM raided five gas plants, which exerted pressure on LPG bottling companies to obtain NS certificates.

Since then, three LPG bottlers—Janaki Gas Industry, Nawalparasi; Metro Gas Industry, Dhading; and NL Gas Industry, Birgunj—have obtained NS certificates.

“Now, all the remaining gas bottling companies have applied for the NS mark,” NBSM Director General Bishwo Babu Pudasaini said. Of these companies, on-site inspections of 15 have been completed in the last one and a half months, according to Pudasaini.

“Also, we have started going through the documents of 33 other gas bottling plants that have applied for NS certificates,” Pudasaini said. “We will soon issue a 15-day deadline to these companies to comply with the standard. We will then conduct on-site inspection and determine whether to issue NS certificate.”

As per the NBSM directive, gas bottling plants must hire adequate technical human resources and follow safety measures to handle emergency situations in their premises. The plants should also have adequate space to refill and store gas cylinders. 

The NBSM has also directed gas bottling plants to examine their LPG cylinders on a regular basis and check the thickness of the cylinder wall, sludge deposit, valve safety and safety caps. 

They should also conduct hydraulic and leakage tests of the cylinders.

Published: 15-02-2018 09:43

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