Transporters halt ATF supply

Kathmandu, January 27

Tankers supplying aviation turbine fuel (ATF) in the domestic market have halted supply of the product seeking amendment in the provision, which makes tanker owners compensate for the technical loss of the petroleum product during transport.

Submitting the keys of hundreds of tankers to the Nepal Petroleum Transporters’ Federation, tanker drivers have been halting the import of ATF and its supply in the domestic market since Saturday. They have primarily sought the scrapping of the legal provision introduced by Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) that makes transporters compensate for the loss resulting due to technical reasons during fuel transport.

“We are not in a position to compensate the loss of fuel due to different technical reasons during transport inside the domestic market and from India to Nepal,” said Pashupati Pathak, an ATF transporter, adding that NOC charging transporters for such loss due to unavoidable technical reasons is unjustified.

NOC has been allowing deduction of 45 litres of petrol and 27 litres of diesel on every 4,000 litres of fuel supplied by transporters from different depots to the market as compensation for shrinkage loss. However, in case loss of fuel during transport is above this mark, NOC makes transporters compensate for it.

“Shrinkage loss during fuel transport is determined by different factors, including temperature.

We can’t take responsibility of loss in volume of fuel during transport due to such technical reasons,” Pathak added.

Moreover, transporters have said that there is no chance of oil pilferage after NOC introduced locking system in fuel-ferrying tankers. “One key of the fuel tanker remains at the depot while the other remains with NOC. In this context, NOC cannot make us responsible for shrinkage loss of fuel during transport,” said transporters.

Khageswor Bohara, president of the federation, said that shrinkage loss depends on temperature and the time between which petroleum products are loaded and offloaded. “As shrinkage loss is not due to transporters, NOC should revise the legal provision that makes transporters responsible for such losses,” he said.

Meanwhile, Birendra Goit, spokesperson for NOC, has asked transporters to come for discussions and sort out the issue rather than halting the supply of ATF. “Halting supply of essential goods like fuel is against the law. Transporters should come for talks with NOC with their concerns and resume the supply of aviation fuel as soon as possible,” he said.