NOC to stock fuel in full capacity

Kathmandu / April 24: The state-owned petroleum supplier – Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) – has initiated to increase fuel stock considering the possibility of obstruction in its supply with the beginning of second wave of COVID-19.

“We have instructed all our depots to run at full capacity and keep required quantity of petroleum products in stock as soon as the second wave of COVID-19 started,” said Binitmani Upadhyay, spokesperson of NOC.

The Corporation has given this instruction to prevent any impact on the supply due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he said.

In the last few days in India, as the COVID-19 infection is on the rise, various states are resorting to lockdown.

The Corporation has given such instructions to prevent any problem in the supply due to closure of any plant in India even though it did not stop the supply of essential commodities during the lockdown a year ago.

‘Despite the increase in COVID-19 infections in India, there have been no supply problems. But we have asked all depots to remain alert. No fuel plant of Indian Oil Corporation has been shut down till date, “he said.

Even in the most difficult situation of COVID-19 a year ago, there was no impact on the supply, he said, adding that there will be no problem this time also as everyone is aware.

“There was a lot of panic from the driver to the depot staff a year ago due to COVID-19. It was difficult to bring oil to different places in the country from India. We brought oil by adopting all the health protocol. Now, everyone is aware of COVID, there is no problem in supply,” he said.

According to Upadhyay, 80 per cent of petrol, diesel and aviation fuel is stored now.

“We have more than 80 per cent of the total capacity of fuel in stock at present. So, we will keep fuel in stock as per our capacity shortly. Demand for fuel could also decline if the transportation stopped due to increase in COVID-19 cases,” he said.

The fuel consumption had dropped to 15 per cent during lockdown a year ago.

The total fuel storage capacity of the Corporation is 70,000 KL, out of which 9,391 KL of petrol, 45,534 KL of diesel, 8,000 KL of aviation fuel and 3,000 KL of kerosene.

Upadhyay said that there would be no problem for diesel import even in bad condition as the pipeline is smoothly operating for importing fuel from India.

“In case of bad condition, we can import diesel through pipeline. There might be problems in supply of petrol and aviation fuel. However, IOC officials have already informed that there will be no problem,” he said.

According to him, the NOC has also instructed the gas industry association to fill the storage of its bottling plant.

The Corporation has already sent a letter to the association instructing to keep all the cylinders full to ease the supply, he said.

“Let’s keep our bottling plants full. We have asked you to create an environment for smooth supply of cooking gas,” Upadhyay said.

He said that around 100 gas bullets are being imported daily and 126,000 gas cylinders are being sold across the country on a daily basis.

The LPG storage capacity of bottling plants is 8,070 tonnes.

Meanwhile, issuing a notice, Nepal LP Gas Industries Association asked the consumers to fill up their empty gas cylinders at the earliest.

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