Nepal plans to build three more fuel depots

KATHMANDU: The Government of Nepal is planning to construct fuel storage facilities in Panchkhal of Kavre, Trishuli of Nuwakot and Khaireni in Tanahun soon.

Under Secretary at the Ministry of Commerce and Supplies Shiva Prasad Tripathi said each facility would have the storage capacity of 6,000 kilolitres of petrol. He added that the Chinese government has been approached for constructing the fuel storage facilities.

Likewise, each depot would have a 1,000-kilolitre diesel storage capacity.

The Ministries of Finance and Foreign Affairs have already forwarded the proposal to this effect at the request of the Ministry of Commerce and Supplies.

Currently only 71,569 kilolitres of petrol, diesel and aviation fuel are stored in the country. There is no provision for the storage of kerosene and LPG on a large scale.

Currently, the nation can store petrol for a week, diesel for 15 days and aviation fuel for 10 days.

Currently, consumers have been hit hard due to the shortage of fuel owing to the inadequate fuel storage facility in the aftermath of the undeclared border blockade imposed by India on Nepal.

In this backdrop, Finance Minister Bishnu Paudel and Commerce Minister Ganesh Man Pun have held frequent discussions on augmenting the present fuel storage capacity in the country.

An agreement was reached whereby the Ministry of Finance would manage the budget required for moving ahead the required process for increasing the fuel storage capacity.

Presently, Nepal Oil Corporation has fuel storage facilities in Thankot, the Tribhuvan International Airport and Sinamangal of Kathmandu, Bhairahawa of Rupandehi, Pokhara of Kaski, Nepalgunj of Banke and Biratnagar of Morang, among other places.

Tripathi said a proposal has been presented to the Government of the People's Republic of China for the assistance.