Security agencies propose over a dozen strategic locationsThree security agencies on Wednesday proposed over a dozen strategic spots where new oil storage depots could be set up so as to meet petroleum demand during crises
Three security agencies on Wednesday proposed over a dozen strategic spots where new oil storage depots could be set up so as to meet petroleum demand during crises, the National Planning Commission (NPC) said.
Amid severe fuel shortages due to the undeclared trade embargo imposed by India, the NPC organised a meeting with three security agencies—Nepal Army, Nepal Police and Armed Police Force—and Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) on Wednesday. With NOC’s existing storage meets the oil demand for just 20 days, the NPC has directed government agencies to boost the storage capacity fourfold.
The proposed locations are Charali in Jhapa, Pakali in Sunsari, Barmajiya in Saptari, Bardibas in Mahottari, Kirtipur in Kathmandu, Panchkhal in Kavre, Bhanu in Tanahun, Pokhara in Kaski, Kohalpur in Banke, Bhairahawa in Rupanedhi, Attarariya in Kailali, Bangesimal in Surkhet, Kanchanpur and Bharatpur, Chitwan, according to NPC Joint Secretary Gopi Nath Mainali.
“The security agencies proposed the locations from the strategic point of view from where oil could be supplied to nearby regions during crises,” said Mainali. “Some of the locations are within land plots occupied by security agencies while others are within public and private land plots.”
Nepal Army Spokesperson Brigadier General Tara Bahadur Karki said the talks were in initial stages. “The meeting also discussed the arrangement of necessary land as it requires huge areas to install storage tanks,” he said. Mainali said arranging necessary land was challenging because acquiring private land plots could be expensive.
During the meeting, NPC asked NOC to submit a report of per-day demand in the proposed locations and the availability land to install storage infrastructure.
Although NOC has already planned to expand fuel storage in different locations, NPC said the security agencies proposed the locations where they could provide security to the storage tanks and distribute fuel easily during crises. NOC plans to build cooking gas storage plants with a capacity of 35,000KL each in Janakpur, Dhading, Mechi-Koshi, Western and Mid-western or Far-western regions.
It also plans to boost the capacity of its aviation fuel depot in Kathmandu by 4,000KL and upgrade the storage capacity of its Pokhara depot by 150KL, besides setting up new storage plants at Jhapa’s Bhadrapur Airport, Bara’s Simara Airport and Bhairahawa’s Gautam Buddha Airport.
It also plans to install storage plants in Janakpur, Solukhumbu and Dang and increase storage capacity of its petrol and diesel depots in Thankot, Kathmandu.
The meeting also discussed increasing the country’s oil storage capacity by 300,000KL from current 71,622KL so as to meet the fuel demand for at least three months.
NOC has oil storage tanks in 10 locations across the country. NOC has estimated the cost for setting up storage infrastructure for an additional 300,000KL at Rs12 billion, excluding land acquisition costs, Mainali said.