Nepali LPG bullets to start supplying gas within a week

Kathmandu, January 27

Breaking the four-decade long monopoly of Indian transporters, domestic liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) bullets with Nepali registration number plates are set to supply gas in the domestic market within a week.

LPG supply in the country was completely dependent on Indian transporters due to lack of LPG bullets with Nepali gas bottlers. However, domestic LPG bottlers have procured their own bullets to supply LPG in the country after the government allowed them to buy their own LPG bullets in July last year.

"Two Nepal-registered bullets will go to India to collect LPG within a week and various gas bottlers will subsequently send their bullets to collect gas from Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) soon," said Shiva Ghimire, president of Nepal LP Gas Industry Association. According to him, domestic gas bottlers have placed orders for more than 300 such gas bullets in India, which will soon arrive in Nepal.

Domestic gas bottlers have started supplying the commodity using their own LPG bullets as Indian transporters will not have to mandatorily supply LPG to Nepal from November-end following an agreement to this effect between domestic gas bottlers and Indian transporters.

Moreover, domestic bottlers have said that Indian transporters have already started using Nepal-bound LPG bullets for other internal purposes in India.

"As it will not be mandatory for Indian transporters to use their vehicles to supply gas to Nepal after November, it is the responsibility of the government to create a favourable environment for us to bring in our LPG bullets from India as soon as possible and use them for transporting gas," said Ghimire.

Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) had allowed private LPG bottlers to procure 600 such bullets in July. However, the procurement process was delayed after the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA), in August, confiscated all files related to NOC allowing private bottlers to purchase bullets and started probing the NOC decision. Then in November, the CIAA opened the door for domestic companies to purchase LPG bullets by giving a 'go-ahead' to NOC's decision.

Use of Nepali LPG bullets to supply cooking gas is expected to contribute to the country's economy largely in terms of reduced transportation cost as domestic gas bottlers had been paying billions of rupees to Indian transporters annually to supply LPG to Nepal.