Time to ensure energy security in the country, says supplies minister

Nepal Oil Corporation to issue 30 per cent initial public offering soon

Kathmandu, January 10

Minister for Supplies Jayanta Chand has said that Nepal should now work towards ensuring energy security in the country.

Addressing the 48th anniversary of Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) here today, Chand opined that a country like Nepal, which is completely dependent on other countries for fossil fuel, should gear up to enhance storage capacity of petroleum products and opt for alternative energy sources to ensure energy security in the coming days.

“The demand for energy, including fossil fuel, is increasing in the country while we have limited supply and sources. Thus, all related government agencies, including NOC, should immediately boost fuel storage capacity and promote the use of alternative energy sources,” said Chand.

Stating that the supply of petroleum products is not only related to daily life, but also to the country’s overall economy and security, Chand also urged NOC management to use effective tools to maintain uninterrupted fuel supply in the future.

Addressing the ceremony, Anil Kumar Thakur, secretary at the Ministry of Supplies (MoS), said that NOC should develop effective strategic plan and business plans to drive forward the company and country’s petroleum industry.

“NOC’s approximate annual transaction from fuel trading hovers around Rs 200 billion and any enterprise conducting such a huge volume of trade should have strong strategic plans,” said Thakur.

On the occasion, Sushil Bhattarai, acting deputy managing director of NOC, informed that NOC will present itself as a customer-friendly institution in the coming days. Informing that the government is preparing to increase NOC’s paid-up capital soon, Bhattarai said that the corporation plans to issue 30 per cent initial public offering (IPO) after revisiting the company’s paid-up capital.

After the increment in the paid-up capital, the government will have 55 per cent share in NOC, while public and strategic partner of NOC will have 30 per cent and 15 per cent share, respectively, according to Bhattarai.

Currently, NOC has paid-up capital worth Rs 293 million and the company plans to increase the paid-up capital to more than Rs 20 billion in the coming days. Bhattarai also informed that NOC has sought approval from MoS and Ministry of Finance (MoF) regarding the increment in paid-up capital of NOC.

Meanwhile, bottlers and dealers of liquefied petroleum gas and dealers of other petroleum products who participated in the event urged NOC to prioritise effective implementation of policies related to the fuel industry.