By the A.M. Costa Rica staff
The Ministerio de Ambiente y Energía is currently working on new regulations for the commercial exploitation of propane and butane gas.
The new rules seek to improve the security standards during the packaging, storage, transportation and distribution of the product. They also require stronger traceability to properly track down gas cylinders in case of an emergency.
Right now, government is working on a first draft of the new regulations and, along with the Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Comercio will take it to a public consultation with consumers and producers of the gas.
The final version of the draft will be presented at the end of June before the Ministerio de Economía for its approval. “With the application of this new regulation users will benefit from greater security in the service, based on the new traceability schemes. In addition, consumers will have improved mechanisms to request a better and availability of the product.
In Costa Rica, butane and propane gas is used mainly by the industrial sector and residential consumers It is also used in hotels, hospitals, and schools. A.M. Costa Rica reported that all aluminum gas tanks tested on safety compliance by the Autoridad Reguladora de Servicios Públicos did not pass the test, posing a higher risk of leakages and explosions to consumers. The gas industry has been on the spot in the last years because of explosions that have killed users and destroyed businesses.
Last year in March, a potato-themed restaurant located close to Universidad de Costa Rica was destroyed by a gas tank explosion. Another case happened in Jan. 2013, when a small restaurant in San José set on fire after a gas tank was ignited. The cause of that fire was leakage. The owner and cook died two days later in the intensive care unit at Hospital San Juan de Dios.