Litro in limbo

Friday, 3 December 2021 00:30 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


  • Litro conducts audit on entire stockpile, stops issuing LPG
  • Company will resume normal operations after completion of audit
  • LP Gas Distributors Association of Sri Lanka says demand has dropped by 70%
  • Asserts no complaints from distributors on any leakages, no explosions of gas cylinders 
  • Claims inferior quality glass-top cookers have invaded the market, no standards or regulation on regulators and hose types
  • Suspects if the sudden incidents were a result of a group with an ulterior motive
  • Stresses there had been no calamity for the last 25 years and disappointed with current situation

 By Charumini de Silva

State-run Litro Gas has stopped issuing Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) to the market to conduct an audit on the entire stock, following the fires and explosions recorded from countrywide.

“The company stopped issuing cylinders to the distributors yesterday until the audit on their entire stock is covered,” LP Gas Distributors Association of Sri Lanka (LPGDASL) President Sathyendra Wijayapura told the Daily FT.

Following the recent incidents recorded, he said that the demand for Litro Gas also dropped drastically by 70% over this week. 

“Generally, around 85,000 cylinders were distributed by us, but during this week it has been as low as 25,000-27,000,” Wijayapura added.

He said usually, distributors also keep a large stock of empty cylinders to distribute, while maintaining at least three days stock in order to meet any delays that may occur either at the filling plant or due to unavoidable circumstances such as poor maritime conditions, both of which may result in a possible out-of-stock situation in the country. But given the situation, the stockpiles at distribution points have reduced significantly too.

Pointing out that over 35 gas distributors were at high risk, as they transport close to 5,000 LPG cylinders on a daily basis, he said that none of the distributors had encountered leaked gas cylinders despite the public claims.

“There are no cylinder explosions reported, all the incidents are linked to the equipment attached to the cylinder, particularly the glass-top gas cookers,” he said.

He claimed that most of these glass-top cookers that are imported from China have taken over the local market and a lot of them are inferior quality. He also said the regulator price ranges from Rs. 300-1,500 whilst there are different hose types with no standard regulation whatsoever on any of them.

At present, 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 island.

Considering the recent explosions and fires, he speculated that there could be an ulterior motive behind the current fear at domestic level. However, he said LPGDASL too is currently waiting for the expert report and Litro Gas internal audit findings to come into conclusion.

Wijayapura stressed that distributors too have played a crucial role in setting standards on safe and efficient deliveries of LP Gas to both household and commercial enterprises without any major calamity for the last 25 years and they are disappointed in the current situation in the industry.

The distributors use a large fleet of around 600 6-wheel, 10-wheel and prime mover trucks on a daily basis, through a dedicated channel consisting of over 8,000 dealers countrywide. In total, there are over 80,000 dependents in the LP Gas business as employees, stakeholders and service providers.


Experts probing LPG-linked  incidents make inspection visits