LPG shortage looms large

Kathmandu, May 12:

With the import of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) dwindling, dealers have predicted that LPG shortage will grip the nation within a week.

The Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) has slashed the import of petroleum products, including LPG, by 40 per cent.

Though the country needs 10,500 metric tonnes (around 740,000 cylinders) of gas every month, merely 6,300 metric tonnes (60 per cent of the required quantity) of gas is

being imported.

“Now that the import of gas has been slashed by 40 per cent, yet another LPG crisis is sure to grip the nation in a week,” said Sanwar Mal Agrawal, president of the LP Gas Industries’ Association. Gyaneshwor Aryal, general secretary of the Nepal Gas Dealers’ Association, echoed his views.

Normally, around 350 metric tonnes of LPG is transported daily from Barauni, but merely 200-metric tonnes were transported today. According to Aryal, many empty cylinders collected at depots are yet to be filled.

The Kathmandu valley consumes almost 70 per cent of total gas supplied in the country. The price of LPG is the same all over the country. However, the cost of transportation and labour charges are higher in Kathmandu compared to the Tarai.

“With limited import, entrepreneurs are likely to sell LPG mostly in the Tarai because they can make more profit there. This may worsen the fuel crisis in the valley,” Aryal said.

Mukunda Dhungel, spokesperson for the NOC, said the import had been slashed because the NOC was incurring heavy losses. The NOC cannot import required amount of gas unless the cabinet gives it a go-ahead, he said.