Statement Regarding LPG Quality – October 2023
In recent months the LPG industry has continued to receive reports from some of its customers about alleged LPG quality issues.
The LPG quality issues have been received from customers using LPG to power forklift trucks and are mainly relating to oily or waxy substances being found in the fuel system. In extreme cases these have caused issues with the ignition system and resulted in fires. The enclosed advice from the UK Materials Handling Association (MHA) should be followed if forklift trucks fail to start.
Calor always checks that the LPG it supplies is in accordance with the relevant British Standard – BS4250 Commercial Butane and Propane. We can continue to confirm that all LPG supplied to customers has complied with this standard.
Calor also carries out additional checks at its own storage locations and again these tests have not revealed any issues.
Investigations at the premises of customers who have had issues demonstrate that the tank or cylinder storing the LPG is also on specification which has led us to conclude the issues are due to a reaction or interaction with a non-metallic component on the forklift truck.
The analysis of the LPG shows it to be very similar in composition to that supplied in previous months and years when there have not been any issues of the quality of LPG.
Calor has held a number of discussions concerning this matter with the LPG trade association Liquid Gas UK (LGUK), the MHA and some of our LPG suppliers. Through LGUK, discussions have been held with a Chartered Chemist who is an expert in LPG as well as with the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), which is the British Standards body with responsibility for BS4250. The HSE is investigating this matter but its investigation is still ongoing and the HSE has not published its findings to date, although we understand that the HSE has identified an issue with a vaporiser commonly used on FLTs. The HSE has confirmed that all products tested as part of its investigation meet the relevant British Standard (BS4250).
Whilst we appreciate that the situation is very frustrating for customers who have experienced any of the issues mentioned, we fully support a thorough investigation by the HSE. We are not able to
comment further until the HSE has completed its investigation and reported its findings. Once this has happened, Calor and LGUK plan to issue a further statement on the situation.