LPG crisis may not end anytime soon

Kathmandu, November 18:

The Gas Dealers’ Association and other stakeholders said today that the shortage of cooking gas may last for over six months if the Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) does not take tangible steps immediately to address the shortage.

Sawar Mal Agrawal, president of the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) Industry Association, urged the NOC to act immediately to clear hurdles facing transporters. Pointing that 28 companies are transporting gas from India, Bibendra Pradhananga, president of the Gas Dealers’ Association, said, “Though the NOC has given ‘Payment Against Delivery Order’ (PDO) to transporters to bring in gas from Mathura, Baruni and Haldia, the gas companies in India are not permitting them to load gas in containers. This is hindering the transport of gas from India,” he added.

According to Agrawal, 250 metric tons of LPG was brought to the valley from Baruni of India a few days ago. No amount of gas has been brought here since then, he said.

The valley needs 12,000 metric tons of LPG every month and this requirement can be met

only if 500 metric tons of gas is supply every day.

“Though 100 metric tons of gas was to be brought from Mathura a few days ago, it could not be loaded due to lack of cooperation between the NOC and the gas company,” he said, adding, “The crisis can be resolved if the government reaches an understanding with the NOC to bring gas from Baruni. It takes six days to bring gas from Baruni, while it takes a minimum of 12 days to bring in gas from Mathura.”

Pradhananga demanded that the NOC make its gas delivery system transparent. He said, “The NOC should keep data on daily basis on the import and consumption of gas and work out ways to clear out confusion between the cooking gas producers, the transporters and itself.”

Iccha Bikram Thapa, spokesperson for the NOC, said the NOC has been unable to pay for the purchase of petroleum products because the international price is always rising.

He said, “The price of gas was increased by Rs 200 per cylinder on October 25, but it still fell short of the

price of gas in the international market. This has caused delay in the purchase of LPG.” He said that the NOC will pay Rs 650 million to the Indian Oil Corporation on November 20. “The volume of gas import will increase once we pay this amount,” he said.