NOC to hand over fuel supply contract soon

Nepal Oil Corporation planning to select multiple parties to supply different kinds of fuel

 Kathmandu, October 19

Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC), the country’s petroleum monopoly, is mulling over handing over contract on supply of

petroleum products soon in a bid to ease the fuel crisis in the country.

“We will soon shortlist preferred bidders and ask them to supply fuel to us,” NOC’s Acting Deputy General Manager Sushil Bhattarai told The Himalayan Times, adding, “The contract may be handed over during the Dashain holidays, as we’ll be working during the festival season as well.”

Bhattarai, however, said the contract will not be given to a single party. “We’ll select multiple parties to supply the fuel, as different bidders have expressed interest to deliver different kinds of fuel.”

As fuel crisis deepened in the country, NOC, on October 8, issued a public notice calling on interested parties to submit bid documents for supply of petroleum products. The parties were asked to deliver 200 kilolitres (KL) of diesel, 100 KL of petrol, 200 KL of kerosene and aviation turbine fuel, and 100 metric tonnes of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) per day for a period of 15 days.

Based on this request, 23 companies, including those based in China, South Korea and countries in the Gulf, submitted bid documents till the deadline of October 11.

Although the parliamentary committee on public accounts had directed NOC to hand over the contract within few days of receiving bid documents, the oil company still has not been able to do so.

“Yes, the process of handing over contracts is taking a long time. But this is a complex issue to deal with because prices quoted by parties are double the existing market prices of petroleum products,” Bhattarai said. “Since we are also getting some supplies from India, which are cheaper, we have not been able to make a decision on how to fix market prices once we start getting supplies from parties that have taken part in the bidding.”

Also, different parties are said to have placed various conditions to bring in fuel for which NOC needs to get the approval of the Ministry of Commerce and Supplies.

Earlier, an NOC source had told THT that a party, which had proposed to airlift fuel from China, had asked the

Nepal government to first sign a deal with the Chinese counterpart ‘because the private company there cannot export fuel without government-to-government agreement’.

“We have already informed about these complexities to the new Minister for Commerce and Supplies (Ganesh Man Pun) and he is positive about addressing these issues,” Bhattarai said.