All the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) bottling companies of Nepal have finally applied for the Nepal Standard (NS) certificate as the government has applied pressure to them. There are 55 LPG bottling companies operating in Nepal, and at the moment, only 7 have the NS mark.
- On November 2016, the Nepal Bureau of Standards and Metrology (NBSM) had enforced the LPG Bottling Plant Operation Standards and directed gas plants to obtain NS certificates within three months.
- Only 4 gas bottlers had applied for the certificates at the time. They were: Manoj Gas Industry, Birgunj, Shree Krishna Gas Industry, Dhading, Sai Baba Gas Industry, Dhading, and Nepal Gas Industry, Balaju.
- Other gas bottling plants missed the deadline to apply for the certificate, saying that the new rule would bump up their operating costs.
- On December 20, a devastating fire at Super Gas Factory in Sukhasaina, Parsa, claimed the lives of 3 people.
- After the incident, the NBSM raided five gas plants, putting pressure on gas bottling plants to obtain the NS certificates.
- Since then, 3 gas bottlers have obtained NS certificates. They are Janaki Gas Industry, Nawalparasi, Metro Gas Industry, Dhading, and NL Gas Industry, Birgunj.
What they are saying:
- “Now, all the remaining gas bottling companies have applied for the NS mark,” NBSM Director General Bishwo Babu Pudasaini said. According to him, of these companies, on-site inspections of 15 have been completed in the last one and a half months.
- “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 an 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 on 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.