Kathmandu, May 11
A high capacity Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) storage depot is essential for the smooth supply of LPG, a senior official at the Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) said.
Suresh Kumar Agrawal, Acting Managing Director at the NOC, told The Rising Nepal that the NOC should go for constructing such storage depot to address the perennial problem of LPG shortage as soon as possible.
There are around four dozens LPG bottling plants across the country. "However, the total storage of the LPG is not sufficient for more than a week," Agrawal said.
"It is really surprising that there are large numbers of LPG bottling plants in a small country like Nepal. However, the total storage capacity of the company cannot assure smooth supply of the LPG for more than a week if something goes wrong," he said.
He also informed that the NOC had once planned to construct an LPG storage depot of high capacity in Mahendranagar, Dhanusha district nearly 12 years ago.
For that, several hectors of land was taken in lease. However, the plan vanished in course of time, he said.
"LPG is one of the most indispensable products of human life. People can buy and bring other products from across the border when there is a shortage," he said, "however, there is no possibility of bringing LPG from across the border in such a way."
He said that once the depot was constructed, the country would have LPG storage for around 40-45 days
Informing that the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) has been implanting gas pipe from Haldiya to Mujafarpur of India, he said that if Nepal could connect the pipeline from there to the bulk storage depot in Nepal, it would turn a ‘lifeline’ in the supply of LPG.
He said that the construction cost of the depot was estimated around Rs. one billion.
He said that the NOC imported around 17,000MT LPG in the past three months. This accounts to around 1,250,000 cylinders. Despite such a large number of LPG cylinders supplied by various gas companies, the people are still facing a shortage of gas, he said.
Similarly, he informed that the government has started to implement the card system to ease the distribution of cooking gas.
He said that the process of collecting consumer details started last week amidst a function organised in the capital.
The introduction of the gas consumer cards is expected to help maintain the consumer records updated. "This will also help maintain transparency in the distribution channel," he hoped.
The government has planned to introduce two types of cards for the gas users. Red cards would be issued to household users, while the blue ones for industrial users.
He said that the corporation has to suffer a loss of around Rs. 1 billion in cooking gas alone a month. "We are selling cooking gas by suffering a loss of Rs. 598 per cylinder this month," he said.
The corporation faced around Rs. 802 loss per cylinder of cooking gas last month. The cost price of cooking gas is Rs. 1,415 per cylinder, he said.
Based on the new price structure, the corporation would face a loss of Rs. 598 per cylinder of cooking gas.