Import enough gas, LPGIA urges NOC

KATHMANDU: To overcome the existing shortage of cooking gas and prevent further shortfall,

LP Gas Industries' Association (LPGIA) has urged Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) to import 20,000 metric tonnes of LPG for the next year.

LPGIA general secretary Suresh Prajapati said prolonged load-shedding has increased the consumption of LPG, creating high demand for gas cylinders. “Considering the present level of demand for LPG cylinders, at least 19,000 to 20,000 metric tonnes of LPG are required for the next year,” said Prajapati.

He said that during a meeting, representatives of NOC and the CDO had agreed to import the remaining 16,326 metric tonnes of LPG to bridge supply gap. “We were reassured that the import was halted for a day due to some technical problem and also there was lack of transport to carry the LPG from Haldia,” said Prajapati adding that it takes about five days to import LPG from Haldia, which is 2700km away.

Therefore, even a day's halt in the supply affects the situation as the demand is spiralling. The shortage problem started in february when the supply of LPG was far less than what the demand was. Total LPG imported in February was 8500 metric tonnes though the demand was for 15,000 metric tonnes.

Prajapati said that if NOC imports at least 16,000 metric tonnes of LPG in March and April, there will not be any shortage in the market during this season. “Those concerned should stop blaming each other and focus on bringing in sufficient quantity of LPG to avoid further shortage,” he added.

Meanwhile, in a joint press statement LPGIA along with Gas Dealers' Federation Of Nepal (GDFN) said that it has withdrawn its protest programme. Along with it, the association also urged consumers not to hoard cylinders. Hoarding creates shortage in the market. It urged consumers to buy the required number of cylinders.

Earlier, from Sunday LPGIA and GDFN were to protest against the shortage of LPG and halt the supply of gas cylinders as NOC had failed to import the agreed 17,000 metric tonnes of LPG .

The total demand for LPG is 45,000 cylinders per day but only 6000 cylinders are imported per day.

In February, only 55 per cent of the total LPG demand supplied.