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Govt to introduce non-explosive Composite LPG cylinders

Kathmandu, October 16, 2016:The government is preparing to introduce non-explosive Composite Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) cylinders in the market to reduce the risk of explosion that is prevalent in metallic LPG cylinders currently in use.

Basically ahead than the metallic LPG cylinders in the market in terms of safety, these Composite LPG cylinders are made with helically woven fibre and resin, making them non-explosive even when exposed to fire, according to experts.

“Cases of explosion of LPG cylinders are increasing in the domestic market, which have posed a grave threat. Moreover, consumers are raising questions on the quality of existing metallic LPG cylinders,” Gopal Bahadur Khadka, managing director of Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC), said adding that the corporation, keeping in mind these issues, will introduce non-explosive Composite LPG cylinders within this fiscal year.

According to experts, composite cylinders are non-explosive in the sense that these cylinders, instead of exploding under fire exposure after gas leakage, will burn unlike metallic cylinders.

“As composite cylinders don’t explode and only burn if they catch fire, these cylinders pose less security threat compared to steel LPG cylinders,” Deepak Baral, LPG director at NOC, said. According to Baral, availability of Composite LPG cylinders will be an option to the LPG consumers who want to stay on the safe side by using less risky LPG cylinders.

As NOC only plays a regulatory role in supply of cooking gas in the domestic market, Baral informed that NOC will soon prepare a work plan to allow private bottlers to introduce this type of cylinder in the domestic market.

Apart from being safer, composite cylinders are also said to be up to 35 per cent lighter compared to conventional metallic LPG cylinders, which weigh around 14 kilograms each. This would ensure easy portability and handling for users. Similarly, the wall transparency of such cylinders would enable consumers to know about the level of gas.

NOC, however, said composite cylinders will be comparatively costlier than metallic cylinders.

Meanwhile, Bishwo Babu Pudasaini, director general of Nepal Bureau of Standards and Metrology (NBSM), believes that though introducing composite cylinders would provide an option to LPG users, NOC needs to do more homework before introducing them here.

“These cylinders can cost up to three times more than the existing metallic cylinders. Similarly, domestic manufacturers of LPG cylinders do not have the technology to manufacture the composite cylinders,” Pudasaini said, adding that Nepal will be solely depend on foreign manufacturers for composite cylinders, at least for a while.

Pudasaini, however, said that composite cylinders are more advanced from the safety perspective.

Comparative strengths

  • Non-explosive even during fire exposure
  • Easy to handle as it is 35 per cent lighter than conventional cylinders
  • Gas level visible due to transparent walls