Easing of Japan's mobile gas supply laws aimed at stable supply in disasters

Easing of Japan's mobile gas supply laws aimed at stable supply in disasters

To provide a stable supply of gas to hospitals, welfare facilities and evacuation centres when earthquakes and other disasters occur, the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry has decided to ease restrictions on the capacity of mobile gas generating equipment transported by truck.

The ministry will allow 10 times the current capacity for liquefied natural gas and liquefied petroleum gas, and a little over 30 times the current capacity for compressed natural gas (CNG). The ministry plans to revise the enforcement regulations attached to the Gas Business Law by the end of this year.

Mobile gas generating equipment is made by integrating canisters and a gas generator, and can supply gas by mixing gas as a raw material and air without using electricity.

Under current regulations, the amount is limited to less than one ton for LNG and LPG for one unit of a mobile gas supply system, and less than 300 cubic meters for CNG, for safety reasons. After the Great East Japan Earthquake occurred, gas tanks were emptied in two to three hours, causing a cessation of gas supplies.

For this reason, the ministry plans to raise the capacity restrictions for LNG and LPG to less than 10 tons, and for CNG to less than 10,000 cubic meters. The ministry hopes that the gas supply can be maintained for at least one day until the restoration of gas supply lines, even when the supply from a gas company ceases.

Regarding the distance between gas generating equipment and gas appliances in a cooking area, which are connected with pipes, two meters is sufficient for LNG and LPG as the main gas supply with a capacity of less than one ton. However, eight meters is required for LNG and LPG with capacity of three tons or more to less than 10 tons.

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