The Nepal Bureau of Standards and Metrology (NBSM) has said that it will shut down those liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) bottling plants in the country that have not acquired the Nepal Standard (NS) certification from the government, reports The Himalayan Times.
NBSM, the national standard body of the government reported that the domestic LPG bottling plants are repeatedly defying quality and safety standards. It has formed a separate gas plant monitoring committee to conduct safety and quality audits of all 53 gas bottling plants in the country to eradicate any threats of an accident.
According to Bishwobabu Pudasaini, director general of NBSM, the gas bottlers have repeatedly defied their calls to acquire NS certification and maintain proper quality and safety standards in gas cylinders and gas plants. Pudasaini also added that NBSM will not tolerate any compromise on quality and safety measures as they are directly related to people’s lives.
As per NBSM, only four gas bottling companies, namely Nepal Gas, Shree Krishna Gas, Manoj Gas and Sai Baba Gas, have acquired the NS certification from the government so far.
Pudasaini mentioned that NBSM will start shutting operation of the majority of gas bottling firms in the country operating without a certificate from Friday itself. As per Pudasaini, Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) has been informed about the ‘aggressive’ inspection of gas plants from Friday.
The recent explosion at Super Gas (Birgunj) seems to have raised concern to the government regarding safety issues. Two people were killed and three others sustained injuries after a massive fire engulfed the Super Gas factory on December 20.
However, LPG bottlers claim that all gas bottling companies are operating as per the government standard enforced at a time when gas bottlers had obtained LPG bottling licenses.
Shiva Ghimire, immediate past president of Nepal LP Gas Industry Association informed gas bottles are not in a position to upgrade to the standards that the government has recently enforced as it requires gas companies to inject huge additional investment.
He also mentioned that the new standards enforced by the government last year require gas bottling plants to extend their operation area and add more gas bullets, which adds financial pressure on gas companies.