NOC explores possible options to normalise fuel situation

Kathmandu, January 21

Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) has instructed its depots at the bordering towns with India to dispatch certain amount of fuel to Kathmandu so that the supply situation can gradually be normalised in the Valley.

Per day demand for fuel in Valley during normal times hovers at around 350 kilolitres of petrol and 450 kl of diesel.

NOC has directed its depots at Bhalwari (Bhairahawa), Biratnagar and Nepalgunj to mandatorily dispatch petrol and diesel to Kathmandu as the depots of bordering towns are maintaining a considerable amount of fuel in stock after supply from India became regular via these routes since last two weeks, as per NOC Spokesperson Mukunda Ghimire.

NOC has asked Bhalwari Depot to dispatch 100 kl petrol and 200 kl diesel each day to Kathmandu, Biratnagar (100 kl petrol and 300 kl diesel) and Nepalgunj (50 kl petrol and 50 kl diesel).

“The depots would be able to dispatch the said quantity only if the supply is regular from India, as it has been since the last two weeks,” said Ghimire.

NOC is preparing to distribute fuel to all fuel stations of the Valley like in normal times beginning next week. “However, we will have to abruptly halt our plans if supply from India declines,” said Ghimire.

He also said that the supply of fuel cannot be fully normalised till supply from Raxaul (Birgunj) resumes. Raxaul Depot of Indian Oil Corporation used to cater to around 60 per cent of the total demand for petroleum products. However, supply from the depot has been completely halted since the last week of September, as the Madhes-based political parties started sit-in at the border crossing in Birgunj.

NOC has 2,700 kl diesel, 1,571 kl petrol and 2,600 kl aviation turbine fuel in stock as of today.

Meanwhile, import of liquefied petroleum gas has declined significantly in the last three months. As per NOC, gas bottlers have been able to import only 11,000 tonnes of cooking gas in the last three months (mid-October to mid-January) against monthly demand of 30,000 tonnes.

According to Ghimire, number of gas bullets receiving load is still low. Barauni refinery, which used to load 35 to 40

bullets (of 18 tonnes) each day during normal times, is providing only 15 bullets each day at present. A bullet can refill 1,260 cylinders.

NOC spokesperson also informed that NOC has completed all the processes to re-route the 140 gas bullets stranded at Raxaul since long to bring these bullets into the country.