Gas cars need safety stickers from Saturday
Transport dept must be informed of conversion
Owners of vehicles which have been converted to use natural gas for vehicles (NGV) or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) will not be permitted to fill up at gas stations from this Saturday without displaying a sticker certifying their safety. All converted vehicles must pass safety checks by the Land Transport Department before the stickers are issued.
The compulsory safety check comes in the wake of the explosion of an NGV cylinder in a bus at a Samut Prakan filling station last Friday. The blast injured a station employee and damaged eight vehicles.
Deputy Transport Minister Songsak Thongsri said the department had discuss safety measures for the converted vehicles with PTT Plc, which has the monopoly for NGV, also sold as compressed natural gas (CNG).
It was agreed that the fuel systems of modified vehicles must be certified safe by the Land Transport Department and the sticker displayed on the vehicle's windshield.
PTT Plc will be held responsible if its NGV stations supply fuel to vehicles without stickers.
Private outlets selling LPG for vehicles had been asked not to supply fuel to sticker-less vehicles, he said.
Mr Songsak said motorists who convert their vehicles from now on must notify the department within 15 days of the modification. Those who have already converted their engines must inform the department by this Saturday.
Mr Songsak insisted this deadline would not be extended.
Currently, 430,000 vehicles powered by NGV or LPG are registered nationwide. The department expects this to rise to 600,000-700,000 after Saturday's deadline. It is estimated a million vehicles in all have been converted, including those which are still unregistered.
Mr Songsak said the department was investigating the cause of Friday's explosion at a PTT refilling station.
Chairat Sa-nguansue, the acting director-general of the department, said the NVG cylinder that exploded was made in South Korea and was four kilogrammes lighter than the standard cylinder.
The Energy Ministry has ordered Siam Ratchathani Co, the importer of the exploded NGV cylinder, to recall 376 units of the same model within two weeks.
Mr Chairat urged motorists to also put the stickers in their rear windows so other drivers would know their cars had natural gas tanks installed in the back of their vehicles.
Wednesday August 13, 2008