Energy Ministry toughens law on LPG vehicle conversion


BANGKOK, 13 February 2013  The Energy Ministry is set to toughen the regulation on Liquefied Petroleum Gas vehicle conversion following a car explosion last week. 

On February 7, an explosion took place at a garage offering LPG installation in Bangkok’s Taling Chan district. The blast injured five people and destroyed four nearby cars.

Energy Minister Pongsak Raktapongpaisal said that after a meeting with officials from the Ministries of Transport and Industry, new safety measures have been outlined in a bid to prevent a repetition of the incident. The Industry ministry will speed up a probe into existing safety requirements for LPG-powered cars while the Transport Ministry plans to tighten registration rule for LPG vehicles.

According to the minister, LPG can form explosive mixtures with air. Once leaked from its container, the gas may lead to an explosion upon contacting a source of ignition.

Touching on the issue of LPG smuggling out of Thailand, Mr Pongsak said police have been tracking the smuggling routes used by unscrupulous exporters. Those found guilty of smuggling are subject to a fine of up to 100,000 baht and a prison sentence of up to 10 years. In recent years, LPG has consistently been smuggled from Thailand to neighbouring countries where prices are higher in significant volume.