By Libya Herald staff.
Tripoli, 23 January 2013:
In an attempt to solve the current shortages of gas cylinders, the Ministry of Oil . . .[restrict]and Gas has announced an agreement allowing private sector imports.
This is intended not only to provide sufficient supplies but also put to an end to the rise in sales of illegal cylinders that often fall short of current safety standards.
The Ministry said this week that it would be working with the Economy Ministry to issue licenses for domestic companies to distribute gas cylinders across the country. It said the move was an important step towards decentralisation, but that Brega would continue to provide gas cylinders, particularly in areas such as the south, where the private sector might not be able to meet demand.
Over the coming week the Ministry of Oil and Gas would be considering safety specifications for imported cylinders, it said.
A prolonged shortage of gas cylinders has led to a prevalence of cheap illegal imports which, Brega Petroleum Marketing Company has warned, pose a safety hazard. It said that cylinders not carrying an orange logo did not conform to safety specifications and were potentially lethal.
The marketing company described the illegally-imported cylinders as “ticking time bombs” and added that, where such cylinders were found, they would be confiscated and destroyed with no compensation offered.
Brega criticised the Ministry of Interior for not sufficiently securing ports and border crossing points, thus allowing a rise in illegal imports of gas cylinders. [/restrict]