PM’s China Visit: Deal on cards for three oil depotsNepal is likely to sign an agreement in Beijing on building oil storage depots at three locations with Chinese assistance as Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli visits China next week, officials at the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies said.
Nepal is likely to sign an agreement in Beijing on building oil storage depots at three locations with Chinese assistance as Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli visits China next week, officials at the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies said.
PM Oli is scheduled to leave for the neighbouring country on June 19 on a five-day visit. During the visit, the two sides are expected to sign an agreement on building oil storage depots with
a combined capacity of 110,000kl at Bhairahawa, Gorkha bordering Anbukhaireni of Tanahun, and Battar area of Nuwakot.
One of the storage facilities will be for aviation fuel in Bhairahawa at the under-construction Gautam Buddha International Airport. “The storage facility for aviation fuel will have the capacity of 10,000kl while the other two deposits contain 50,000kl each,” said a senior official at the ministry.
Building oil storage facilities with Chinese assistance is part of implementing the agreements reached between the two sides in March 2016 when Oli visited China in his first stint as PM. According to a joint statement released after the visit, the Chinese side had agreed to build the fuel storage facilities.
Initially, the government did not have the plan to build storage facilities for aviation fuel. “Considering possible completion of the airport early, we revised our plan while preparing the agenda for the visit,” said Sushil Bhattarai, acting managing director of Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC), adding that the facility would serve international flights in particular.
According to the revised deadline, construction of the project is expected to be over by mid -2019. According to the NOC, the site for the purpose has been specified. Most of it is said to be state-owned with some plots as private property.
Bhattarai said the facilities are part of the NOC’s plan to stock up fuel for at least 90 days. Currently, the state-owned monopoly has enough fuel in store for less than a week. The utility plans to have storage facilities in all the provinces.