Transporters start installing security locking system in fuel tankers

Kathmandu, November 24

Transporters have finally started installing security locking system in fuel tankers, which is the key to prevent pilferage of petroleum products.

According to Khageswor Bohara, president of Nepal Petroleum Transporters’ Federation (NPTF), transporters have recently installed such high-tech locking system in 30 new fuel tankers added on the Kathmandu-Barauni, Kathmandu-Amlekhgunj and vice-versa routes. Bohara further said that 200 new tankers with such high security locking system will be added to transport petroleum products to Nepal within a month.

Currently, 1,491 tankers are being used to supply petroleum products in the country.

“We recently installed security locking system in 30 new tankers. The feature will be installed in 200 new tankers, which will start plying on different routes within a month,” Bohara told The Himalayan Times, adding that the locking system will be fitted gradually in the old fuel tankers currently in use.

Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) and NPTF, in July, had agreed to install such locking system in petroleum tankers. On November 10, NOC had published a notice urging transporters to fit the locking system in tankers within two months.

However, transporters have said that it would take almost a year to complete fitting the locking system in all tankers as the required equipment needs to be imported and cannot be fitted overnight.

“The locking system in new tankers is being fitted in India. We are planning to fit the security device in old tankers in Nepal itself from Biratnagar and other cities of various development regions,” said Bohara.

Installation of such electromechanical locking system in tankers is believed to control pilferage while fuel is being transported to Nepal as the security lock can be opened only at the loading and unloading points.

“The locking system will have two keys — one will remain with the Indian depot and the other with the Nepali depot. This will lower the chances of oil leakages and theft on the way,” an NOC official said, requesting anonymity.

Security locking in tankers is taken as a reformative initiative of NOC in country’s petroleum transportation sector as transporters and NOC’s own staff were reported to be involved in oil theft during crisis in the market.

Meanwhile, transporters have said that transportation cost will slightly go up after the security locking system is installed in petroleum tankers as transporters themselves will bear the current installation charge.

“Transporters will have to pay almost Rs 110,000 to install security locking system in one tanker, which will result in minimal surge in transportation cost,” Bohara said.