Shortage of liquefied petroleum (LP) gas is unlikely to end soon as the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) – the sole supplier of petroleum products — has showed reluctance to make additional supply from its Orissa-based Paradip refinery. Interestingly, IOC itself had proposed to NOC to make additional supply from Paradip refinery for the time being. It had proposed to export some 10,000 tons a month from the refinery for at least three months.
But IOC seems to be unwilling to make supply LP gas to Nepal from Paradip refinery, according to NOC officials. “We recently wrote to IOC to finalize rates and sort other technicalities for importing LP gas from the new refinery. But IOC is yet to respond to our letter,” a high-ranking NOC official told Republica, preferring anonymity. NOC was preparing to import 10,000 tons of LP gas from the Orissa-based refinery for some months. This additional import was expected to end prolonged shortage of cooking fuel.
“It seems that IOC wants us to import cooking fuel from the new refinery on permanent basis,” the official added. NOC currently imports LP gas from Barauni, Haldia and Mathura refineries of IOC. As these refineries failed to supply cooking gas as per demand, both IOC and NOC had turned their attention to Paradip refinery. The state-owned petroleum monopolist has IOC to make monthly supply of 38,000 tons for some months. However, IOC has managed to supply only around 28,000 tons from Barauni, Haldia and Mathura refineries. IOC is unlikely to increased supply of LP gas to Nepal in May as well.
Speaking at a program a week ago, NOC Managing Director Gopal khadka had said that preparation was at the final stage to import 8,000 to 10,000 tons of cooking gas per month from Paradip refinery.
Some NOC sources say that IOC, under pressure from the Indian government, has showed reluctance to supply LP gas from Paradip refinery on a temporary basis. They say that the Indian government wants to increase commercial activities in Orissa by supplying fuel to Nepal from the refinery on permanent basis.
Interestingly, India’s Union Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Dharmendra Pradhan, is also from Orissa. Meanwhile, LP gas bottlers say that the current supply cannot import supply of cooking fuel. “The demand has increased manifolds as consumers now own multiple cylinders,” Shiva Ghimire, president of Nepal LP gas Industry Association, said, adding: “There is no other alternative to increasing supply to address shortage.” According to NOC, IOC is supplying around 50 bullets a day to Nepal against the daily demand for 60 bullets. Adam Lowry JerseyShare This