LPG bottlers face shortage of cylindersDue to panic buying triggered by a shortage of cooking gas, a large number of households have been hoarding cylinders
Published at : February 21, 2016
Updated at : February 21, 2016 09:28
Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) bottling plants based in Dhading are facing a shortage of cylinders.
The bottlers said nearly 75 percent of their cylinders were still with consumers. Due to panic buying triggered by a shortage of cooking gas, a large number of households, particularly in the Kathmandu Valley, have been hoarding cylinders.
enerally, bottling plants send 33 percent of their cylinders to the market after refilling, while another 33 percent is stocked at the plant to refill and the remaining is used by households. There are 13 bottling plants in Dhading.
The shortage aggravated after the government introduced the half-filled (7.1kg) cylinder distribution system. LPG traders said consumers started to buy and hoard any number of half-filled cylinders, while they failed to return their empty cylinders.
So much so that the plants have already been filled up with LPG, and at least three gas bullets can be seen waiting to off-load on the premises of plants like Salt Trading Corporation, Siddhartha and Himalaya Petrochemicals (HP) Gas. An LPG bullet can refill 2,200 half-filled cylinders.
HP Gas, owned by Khetan Group, has circulated 188,000 cylinders in the Kathmandu Valley, but it currently has only 6,000 empty cylinders in its stock. “We would be relieved if the government scraps the half-filled cylinder system,” said HP Gas Administrator LK Sharma.
The 13 gas plants have circulated more than 1 million cylinders. On a normal day, 20,000 cylinders are sent to the market. “We estimate the Dhading-based plants have no more than 100,000 empty cylinders currently,” said DSP Sabin Pradhan.
Bottling plants said if they failed to receive empty cylinders, shortage could worsen further despite having enough supply from India.
According to Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC), its supplier Indian Oil Corporation has increased the quota of LPG to 60 percent of the daily demand over the past week.
NOC said it has been receiving around 40 bullets per day, against the daily demand of 55 bullets.