Govt. in plans to track gas cylinders


GAS CYLINDERS

The government has initiated plans that could soon require all cooking gas retailers to install tracking devices on their cylinders as part of measures to collect data and curb illegal refilling.

This comes as concerns on theft of gas cylinders, fueled by illegal gas re sellers, could create a crisis in the industry.

The Ministry of Energy and Petroleum said in a notice in the dailies that the radio frequency identification (RFID) would help in cylinder inventory management while tracking the gas cylinders across the distribution and supply chain.

“It is a unique anti counterfeit, marketing and asset control system that will help in cylinder inventory management and overall help to increase the turnaround of LPG cylinders through undertaking targeted consumer campaigns,” the ministry said in its notice.

The move comes as many marketers say part of the challenge with adequate as supply is due to lack of cylinders to refill.

Plans for the RFID had been initially proposed in 2011 during the height of acute gas shortage which many marketers blamed on middlemen hoarding cylinders to drive up prices.

The government though the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has been clamping down on illegal refilling plants used by the middlemen to conduct unlicensed refilling.

So far, no marketer has invested in a tracking system with the ministry now issuing an expression of interest for provision of the tracking service.

The tracking system is also expected to give data on gas consumption to help in adequate storage.

 

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