Sunday 29 March 2020

Liquigas asks Court to stop competitor’s ongoing abuse

Liquigas Malta Ltd filed a judicial protest in court today, accusing its competitor, Easygas Malta Ltd, of several offences, including violation of property rights and breach of safety regulations. This protest has been filed after Liquigas noted that its green and yellow cylinders were being painted dark grey, filled by Easygas, and placed on the market as Easygas cylinders. In previous months, Liquigas had filed several complaints with the Malta Resources Authority (MRA) which on its part issued a ‘cease and desist’ order to Easygas to stop re-painting Liquigas cylinders, and to return these cylinders to Liquigas as their rightful owner.

Easygas’ action not only violates the property rights of Liquigas but also makes it difficult to identify who is responsible for that cylinder.

Liquigas pointed out that traceability of individual cylinders is necessary in ensuring safety in dealing with pressure equipment being used in the carriage of inflammable products, such as gas cylinders.

Liquigas added that each cylinder is individually certified and through this certification, the ownership of the cylinder can be identified.

Liquigas said it was suffering damages because of Easygas’ behaviour, including the costs of having to repaint its cylinders in its own distinctive green colour and re-insert its own distinctive marks on the cylinders.

A spokesperson for Liquigas said: “This is not an isolated incident but there is a distinctive pattern where Easygas attempted several times to sell its gas in our cylinders rather than invest in cylinders of its own.

In November 2011, Liquigas discovered that Easygas was sending Liquigas cylinders to Salerno in Italy to have them repainted dark grey, but the cylinders were released by the Italian authorities back into Liquigas’ possession.

In November 2013, video evidence was produced showing Easygas abusively and illegally filling Liquigas green and yellow cylinders. MRA had sealed off the illegal cylinder filling equipment found at Easygas’ yard in Luqa.

In September 2014, Liquigas reported to the Malta Resources Authority that yellow and green cylinders were being re-painted dark grey. This was followed last November with the issue by the Malta Resources Authority of a cease and desist order against Easygas.

In these circumstances, Liquigas was left with no other option but to file this judicial protest asking the Court to stop Easygas’ continued abuse spanning a number of years.

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