- Chairman assures current LPG shortage will soon be resolved
- Starts issuing 90,000 to 100,000 cylinders per day
- Opines firm had not seen a drop in demand though people opted for alternatives
- Claims long queues a result of pent-up demand including 50% December demand and 20% productivity drop
- Reveals firm had no traceability mechanism since inception, but now planning to introduce RFID system
- Reveals additional insurance cover worth Rs. 1 m introduced to each Litro consumer, could avail it by calling on 1311 Customer Service
State-run Litro Gas Lanka Ltd. yesterday confirmed that its production capacities have bounced back to optimal levels, assuring that the current shortage of Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) will soon be resolved.
“Following the new procedures and to conform with standards hampered the daily output of the company by 20%. However, we have now bounced back to our optimal levels of issuing 90,000 to 100,000 cylinders per day from Tuesday,” Litro Gas Chairman Theshara Jayasinghe told the media
Asked if they had noticed a drop in demand as people have opted for kerosene and firewood based burners following the spate of fires and explosions reported from countrywide, he said that they have not seen any significant drop, adding that it could only be assessed in February as there are still long queues still for LPG.
However, Jayasinghe pointed out that in December they saw a drastic drop of around 50% in their sales due to the incidents that took place around the country. “The drop in sales was also due to the audit on their stockpile and sudden halt in supply,” he added.
The Chairman explained that the long queues could be attributed as the ‘pent-up demand’ for LPG including the 20% productivity drop and 50% demand drop seen in the past month.
As per the President appointed expert committee it recommended to regulate the industry, from the process of importing gas to Sri Lanka, filling of gas, quality of gas cylinders, equipment needed for the use of LPG.
Pointing out that there had been no traceability of the cylinders dispatched by the firm since its inception, they found it extremely difficult to recall them following the incidents.
“Currently, Litro issues a ‘shrink wrap’ with a number printed on it, as a primary step towards monitoring the products. Although, the most preferred option for traceability is to implement a Radio-frequency identification (RFID) system to automatically identify and track tags attached to objects,” he said.
Over six million households in Sri Lanka use LP gas as the main source of cooking energy, which is considered the most efficient and convenient. Of this market, Litro Gas enjoys over 85% of the market (over five million households) due to its state-of-the-art storage and filling plant in Kerawalapitiya operating through an extensive, well-equipped and highly-trained distribution channel, consisting of a wide variety of Small and Medium Entrepreneurs (SMEs) spread throughout the country.
The Chairman said the company is exploring possibilities to implement a tracking system, which is pivotal to regulate the industry in the near future. “It is easy to blame-game, but nobody takes the responsibility when they really have to. From the inception of this company 150 years ago, the management or the authorities have not felt the need of a tracking system.
“But following the incidents that took place in the latter part of 2021, finally things are falling into place to standardise the LPG industry,” he stressed.
Jayasinghe also said an additional insurance cover worth of Rs. 1 million has been introduced to each consumer and they could avail it by calling on Customer Service hotline on 1311. “This insurance cover is in addition to the existing one which covers the company exposure. The additional insurance cover was introduced in early December 2021,” he added.
source – DailyFT