Nepal | July 03, 2020

NOC wants govt projects to use its bitumen

Himalayan News Service
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Kathmandu, March 29

The state-owned Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC), which is preparing to resume its bitumen business, has proposed the government to use bitumen imported by the corporation in all government-initiated projects.

Though NOC is yet to begin the import of bitumen (a road surfacing and roofing material), NOC has already requested the government to consume its bitumen in the Fast Track Road Project being developed by Nepali Army and is also preparing to formally request the Department of Roads (DoR) to promote NOC’s bitumen in every government-initiated road project.

Informing that NOC will trade highest quality bitumen, Sushil Bhattarai, acting deputy managing director of NOC, said that once DoR recommends the use of NOC-imported bitumen to its road contractors, it will not only ensure that NOC-imported bitumen gets better market but also guarantee durability of roads.

“Quality of bitumen used in surfacing roads determines the quality and durability of the roads. In Nepal, majority of roads are prone to getting damaged quickly,” said Bhattarai, adding that NOC will import best quality bitumen from India.

NOC is planning to import bitumen from Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) and the latter has already assured to make NOC its bitumen trading partner.

A separate team at NOC has been studying the modality of bitumen business and trade. NOC is expected to start bitumen trade once the committee submits its report. The corporation will determine the amount of bitumen to be imported from India and its price following the submission of the report.

This is not the first time that NOC has engaged in bitumen trade. NOC had ceased conducting bitumen business in 1996 following operational losses. NOC had its own bitumen production plant in Amlekhgunj.

Now, NOC is preparing to restart the bitumen business considering increasing complaints on the quality of bitumen being supplied in the market, according to NOC officials.

A version of this article appears in print on March 30, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.

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