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Litro embarks on ambitious project to supply pipe-borne gas to Colombo residents



After 149 years since British colonial times

by Suresh Perera

With the core objective of upscaling LPG (Liquid Petroleum Gas) availability in Sri Lanka, Litro Gas has embarked on an ambitious project to supply households in Colombo with pipe-borne cooking gas.

The move will see a network of gas lines in the metropolis 149 years after the then Colombo Gas & Water Co. pioneered the initiative during British colonial times. Gas was also used to illuminate street lights in Colombo at the time with the floating of the company in 1872.

“We have already given pipe-borne LPG connections to five households in Borella, Colombo 8, under a pilot project”, says Janaka Pathirathna, Director, Sales & Marketing, Litro Gas Lanka.

He said that it will be a step by step process to instal the network in Colombo on a wider basis depending on consumer demand for pipe-borne LPG. “If domestic consumers opt to switch to pipe-borne gas for easy accessibility, our technical teams are at hand to handle the installations swiftly”.

The connections will be given through the installation of a ‘cylinder bank’ with individual flow meters to households to measure the volume of usage in litres in keeping with global standards.”, he explained.

A ‘cylinder bank’ is akin to a transformer that transfers electrical energy from one circuit to another, Pathirathna continued. “Households can gauge their LPG usage and make payment for consumption”.

Asked whether pipe-borne cooking gas cost more than the price of regular domestic cylinders, he replied, “the price per litre is on par as a18-litre hybrid cylinder is sold for Rs. 1,395, which works out to Rs. 77/50 per litre”.

Initially, customers will have to pay a ‘connection fee’ ranging from Rs. 20,000-50,000 depending on usage capacity as pipe-borne LPG can also be used to power generators, heaters, geysers and other such appliances, the director elaborated.

“There will be many product categories and packages offering diverse benefits to customers based on their specific needs under attractive payment methods”.

“It’s similar to opting for a telecommunications fibre connection, where an initial installation fee is applicable”, he pointed out.

He said that the pipe-borne LPG concept is ideal for condominiums, housing schemes and hotels as it ensures a smooth, uninterrupted flow and saves the cost and hassle of replenishing in-house cylinders.

Asked whether the project will be initially restricted to Colombo, Pathirathna outlined that expansion outside the city will happen on a gradual phased out basis taking into consideration consumer demand for the new initiative.

He said that gas pipelines extended from Colombo to Mt. Lavinia at the time the Gas & Water Co. launched the now defunct service. “With the passage of time, we should be able to move out to the suburbs”.

On the risk of gas pipelines in households exploding, he assured that it’s completely safe as there is no big pressure in the system.

Apart from utility services such as water, electricity and telephone links, an underground LPG outlet was also installed at the Colombo Port, he remarked.

Litro Gas Chairman/CEO, Anil Koswatte, stressed that in the global energy landscape, LPG is considered the safest and the most environmentally sound choice suitable for a variety of functions – from household requirements to industrial consumption.

LPG is increasingly emerging as the world’s preferred clean and green energy, he noted.

Although in-house LPG cylinders have been used in Sri Lanka for a considerable period of time, the safest and the most modern option operational worldwide is pipe-borne cooking gas that provides a safe, easy to access and environment friendly solution, he continued.

Introducing pipe-borne LPG is a step towards ensuring the highest safety protocols in LPG supply, while also ensuring an easy and convenient way of delivery to homes or workplaces, Koswatte said in a statement.

“Today, as energy industry dynamics change with consumer demand, the Company remains firmly committed to infusing change and transformation needed to meet changing requirements”.

“We are taking the concept of LPG supply beyond that of bringing a cylinder home and stocking it in the kitchen. This will take the LPG availability to the next level, by giving our customers safe and easy accessibility to the energy they need on demand”, the Chairman stressed.

Litro Gas Lanka’s Director, Health, Safety & Environment/Professional Business, Jayantha Basnayake says LPG supply via a pipeline is the standard procedure for global LPG operations. “We are introducing the same safety and ease of operations procedure to Sri Lanka with this”.

With Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation (SLIC) as its major stakeholder, Litro Gas Lanka holds a 75% market share in the LPG business.

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At least 17 killed after explosion in Peshawar mosque




(picture from twitter)

BBC reported that at least 17 people have been killed in an explosion at a mosque in the Pakistani city of Peshawar.

The blast happened when the mosque was packed with worshippers and more than 90 people were injured.

A section of the building was destroyed, and officials say people are buried under the rubble. Several others are being taken to local hospitals.

The cause of the explosion is unclear.

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More heavy rain ahead for New Zealand’s largest city




Auckland experienced an unprecedented amount of rainfall on Friday (picture BBC)

BBC reported that residents in flood-hit northern New Zealand are bracing for more heavy rains as officials issued severe weather alerts.

At least four people have died and a state of emergency was declared in Auckland, which on Friday experienced its worst downpour on record.

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Information Dept. media release: EC Chief asks public not to be misled



by Priyan de Silva

Chairman of the Election Commission of Sri Lanka, Nimal Punchihewa, asked to comment on a special news release, purportedly issued by the Director General of the Department of Government Information, on Sunday (29), told  The Island  that preparations for the 09 March local government elections were going ahead, as planned, and that the media statement at issue was misleading.

The media statement says: “The gazette notice with signatures of the Chairman and other members of the Election Commission required for the commencement of the Local Government election process has not been sent to the Government Press for printing.”

Punchihewa requested the public not to be misled by any misinformation being spread in an attempt to create doubts in their minds.He also  reiterated that the EC would not be deterred by any acts of intimidation.

Three of the EC members have been threatened with death by an unidentified caller to resign from their posts. They are S. B. Divaratne, M. M. Mohamed and K. P. P. Pathirana. The Opposition has accused the government of trying to sabotage the LG polls.

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