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Faulty gas cylinders to be re-exported

By Omar Obeidat - Feb 13,2014 - Last updated at Feb 13,2014

AMMAN –– The controversy that erupted over the gas cylinders imported from India ended on Thursday after the government decided that the shipment should not remain in the Kingdom.

Over the past two weeks, the issue of the 250,000 gas cylinders bought by the Jordan Petroleum Refinery Company (JPRC) from India triggered a public debate and grabbed headlines as the Jordan Institution for Standards and Metrology (JISM) categorically refused to allow them into the local market saying the cylinders do not meet domestic safety standards.  

Abdel Karim Alawin, chief executive officer of the JPRC –– the company that imported of controversial shipment –– told The Jordan Times that the cylinders will be re-exported after the government’s decision.

Asked on whether the cylinders will be returned to the manufacturer, Alawin responded:  “The most important thing is to get the shipment outside the country.”

Commenting on whether the manufacturing company would refund the JD5 million –– the cost of the cylinders –– or part of it, he said that the JPRC will take legal measures to protect its money.

The JPRC said in a statement that it had received a letter from Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour saying that JISM is the only authority with the power to make a decision regarding the cylinders, which means they should be reexported without the need to make other tests by international institutions.

“The issue of gas cylinders has become a public concern … and we confirm that we had never and will never import cylinders that do not meet domestic standards,” the refinery said in the statement, adding that public safety is JPRC’s top priority.

In remarks to Ammon news agency, a local news website, JISM director general Haydar Al Zaben said that the JPRC has three days to ship the cylinders –– currently being kept at Aqaba Port –– outside the country.      

“I’m ready to go to Aqaba to supervise and ensure that the cylinders are reexported,” Zaben told Ammon.

This week, the Lower House Integrity and Transparency Committee held separate meetings with Zaben and Alawin to discuss the issue.

The committee’s rapporteur Deputy Motaz Abu Rumman has said previously that the gas cylinders cost the refinery JD5 million, adding that the money paid to purchase them from India cannot be refunded as the manufacturer claims that the cylinders meet local technical standards.

 

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