Fuel import via pipeline halted amid storage constraint

Kathmandu, April 17

The government has stopped fuel import via the Amlekhgunj-Motihari oil pipeline owing to storage constraints.

As fuel demand is minimal due to the ongoing nationwide lockdown and the country’s storage capacity is full, fuel supply via the oil pipeline has been stopped from Thursday, as per Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC).

As the demand for diesel is high in Nepal compared to other petroleum products, NOC had been importing diesel via the cross-border pipeline. However, as the fuel storage capacity in Amlekhgunj has been maxed out, NOC has temporarily halted fuel supply through the pipeline. As per NOC, the Amlekhgunj depot has 20,600-kilolitre storage capacity.

“After Amlekhgunj depot was full, we transferred diesel from the depot to other depots in Biratnagar, Bhairahawa and Kathmandu. However, fuel storage capacity across the country is full as of now,” informed Bharat Regmi, chief at the Amlekhgunj depot.

Nepal has limited fuel storage capacity. While storage capacity for petrol is 9,000 kilolitres across the country, the capacity for diesel is 45,000 kilolitres.

Moreover, NOC has been importing other petroleum products only on necessity basis following the slump in fuel demand owing to the obstruction in vehicular movement amidst the ongoing countrywide lockdown which is in force to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Binit Mani Upadhyay, spokesperson for NOC, informed that daily sales of petrol and diesel at normal times stand at around 3,000 kilolitres and 7,000 kilolitres, respectively. However, NOC was able to sell only 3,000 kilolitres of petrol and 15,000 kilolitres of diesel in the last 15 days.

Meanwhile, NOC informed that fuel import via pipeline would resume as soon as the vehicular movement is normalised.