‘China ready to send gas via Tatopani’Nepal’s ambassador to China Mahesh Maskey has informed Vice-President Nanda Bahadur Pun that China is ready to send cooking gas to Nepal through the Tatopani customs point
Nepal’s ambassador to China Mahesh Maskey has informed Vice-President Nanda Bahadur Pun that China is ready to send cooking gas to Nepal through the Tatopani customs point, officials at the Vice-President’s Office said.
They added that the envoy had told the Vice-President that the northern neighbour China would provide cooking gas by establishing a joint customs office at Panchkhal in Kavrepalanchok district.
Jeevan Prabha Lama, acting secretary at the Vice-President’s Office, confirmed that Maskey had told the Vice-President that China could ship gas bullets through Tatopani as sending them through Kyirong would be difficult due to Nepal’s narrow road.
“He also said that final preparations were underway to sign an agreement with China to import fuel commercially,” said Lama.
Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) and PetroChina have already signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to bring fuel from China commercially, paving the way for long-term petroleum imports from the northern neighbour.
Meanwhile, the ambassador said that there had been a delay in signing the pact as China had been formulating rules on fuel exports since it had never done so before, the Rastriya Samachar Samiti (RSS) reported the Vice-President’s Chief Personal Secretary Suk Bahadur Roka as saying. Roka added that petrol and diesel could be imported through Kyirong, but that attempts were being made to bring gas bullets through Tatopani as the Kyirong route was difficult.
“China has given priority to Kyirong, but it is not possible to bring gas bullets through this border point due to the narrow road on the Nepal side. We will import diesel, petrol and other goods through Kyirong. We have proposed to import gas bullets via Tatopani,” said Roka, quoting Ambassador Maskey.
Meanwhile, Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) has sent the final draft of the proposed oil agreement to China, said Sushil Bhattarai, acting deputy managing director of NOC.
After signing the MoU with China, Nepal has been seeking to go into a business deal with the northern neighbour. Bhattarai said that the expected price of petroleum, NOC’s balance sheet and other details related to its financial position had been included in the draft pact.