The ban on gaseous fuelled vehicles, known as LPG, entering underground car parks in Turkey will be lifted, according to Gurkan Topuzlar, President of the LPG Commission for Chamber of Mechanical Engineers of Turkey.
"We established a commission for lifting the ban on LPG-fuelled vehicles," Topuzlar said, and added "This ban may be lifted, but for LPG-fuelled vehicles, there must be controls to ensure that vehicle inspections are in place which should be declared on the car’s registration papers."
Topuzlar said that there are more than 400 thousand vehicles in Turkey who don’t have this legal inspection requirement, and added that measures need to be taken not only by car owners, but also by car park owners.
"Air conditioning and fire-extinguishers are important for underground car parks,” he added.
According to Topuzlar, work is ongoing to implement a new legal code, which as yet is unapproved by car park owner/managers because if this new legislation comes into force, car owners will have to employ new engineers to both install and control LPG tanks. He declared that what car owners say is that there is no need for a change in the law.
"Most European countries have lifted the ban on gaseous fuelled vehicles entering underground car parks," Alexander Stohr, autogas manager of the World LP Gas Association said.
The main reason for the ban in Turkey, which has been enforced for more than ten years, is for precautionary measures as some old fuel tanks had no pressure relief valves installed.
"The issues concerning the safety of LPG fuelled cars parked in underground car parks primarily concerned fire safety hazards. Fire brigades were concerned that tanks could explode in the confined spaces of an underground car park while members of the fire brigade are inside fighting fires,” Stohr said.
“This poses a potential serious threat to members of the fire-fighting force," he said.
Stohr noted that an eventual leak is not as great an issue as some believe it to be, as car parks usual need to be well ventilated to prevent asphyxiation or CO poisoning. This ventilation often supersedes the ventilation necessary to dilute minor leaks, which could go undetected.
LPG is a hydrocarbon consisting of propane and butane. Propane is a gas that can power cars as LPG, as well as having the capability to heat homes.
By Murat Temizer