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Safe refillable LPG canisters launched in Cebu

A company has introduced in Cebu a refillable aluminum LPG canister that is government-certified as safe to use. The Gaz Lite Mate, a 230-gram version of the refillable LPG canisters of Pascal Resources Energy, Inc. (PREI), can be used with existing portable gas stoves and grillers in the market, company officials said in a press event.

The refillable canisters emerged from a corporate social responsibility initiative of PR Gaz, a pioneer in the Philippine LPG industry founded by Nelson Par. It is being produced and distributed by PREI, a social enterprise that continued the program after PR Gaz was acquired by another LPG company. Par serves as CEO and Chairman of PR Gaz.

The refillable LPG canisters are meant to help address the need of families to have access to safe household cooking fuel. It’s also directed at solving problems on illegal and unsafe refilling of butane canisters that has been blamed for several fires in Cebu.

SAFE, REFILLABLE. Pascal Resources Energy, Inc. Chairman and CEO Nelson Par demonstrates how easy it is to use the Gaz Lite system. With him are other company officials including President Siu Ping Par.
SAFE, REFILLABLE. Pascal Resources Energy, Inc. Chairman and CEO Nelson Par demonstrates how easy it is to use the Gaz Lite system. With him are other company officials including President Siu Ping Par.

First of its kind

The company said 60% of families in the Philippines still cook with solid fuel like wood or charcoal, which is not only inefficient but can also damage the environment as well as people’s health.

Gaz Lite is the first of its kind, company officials said, and was awarded a utility model by the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines for its “unique use and function.”

The canisters come in two sizes, a 230-gram version that works with all portable stoves and grills available in the market. This was the model launched by PREI in Cebu yesterday. The company also sells a 330-gram canister that works with its own line of Eazy Kalan stoves.

Safety

During the briefing, company officials pointed out the safety features of their canisters: seamless manufacturing using aluminum alloy that is resistant to corrosion. This ensures that the only possible outlet of the stored LPG is through the valve, as intended.

WIDE DISTRIBUTION. Gaz Lite canisters will be distributed in various retail outlets including neighborhood sari-sari stores.
WIDE DISTRIBUTION. Gaz Lite canisters will be distributed in various retail outlets including neighborhood sari-sari stores.

On the other hand, butane canisters, which are illegally refilled, are pieced together or welded and thus have multiple weak points. It is also made of tin, which easily corrodes. This is because butane containers are designed to be used only once.

Butane canisters are also not designed to contain LPG because of the latter’s stronger working pressure. Gaz Lite canisters, on the other hand, were tested to be able to withstand more than double the pressure of LPG.

“As the Department of Energy has warned, butane canisters are for single-use only and should not be refilled with LPG. Butane canisters are not built to withstand the pressure of LPG. It is a real safety risk and fire hazard,” said Matthew Par, PREI Assistant Vice-President for Brand and Marketing. “Gaz Lite presents a safer, cost-efficient and green solution to using traditional fuels.”

Gaz Lite prices

The company also opened its first LPG canister refilling facility in Lubao, Pampanga. Par said that unlike backyard refillers, they double-check canisters to make sure that these are still serviceable. Those that are not fit for refilling will be crushed.

A Gaz Lite 330-gram canister retails for P145, including deposit, and would last from 3 to 5 days, depending on cooking frequency. Refills cost P65 each. The Gaz Lite Mate, the 230-gram version, retails for P95 with refills at P45.

An initial purchase of Gaz Lite comes with the consumer’s choice of starter kit, a portable stove called “Eazy Kalan,” available in six different colors. Other available products include a BBQ Grill and an LPG blow torch. But with the introduction of Gaz Lite Mate, consumers can now purchase LPG canisters for their existing portable stove or grill.

In Cebu, the company is working with the Everlink Distribution Group to make Gaz Lite available in retail stores and neighborhood shops.

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By Max Limpag

Max Limpag is a journalist, blogger, and developer based in Cebu. He started as a reporter covering City Hall in 1996. He has written on technology for various print and digital publications since 1999 and twice won the Philippine Blog Awards for technology and sports. He co-founded the new media start-up InnoPub Media.

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