The state-owned Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) is planning to increase the country’s storage capacity for petroleum products by at least 15% by the end of the fiscal year, according to reports.
Surendra Poudel, managing director of NOC, told The Himalayan Times that the company has begun work to increase the storage capacity from 70 million litres (440,290 bbl) currently to 80.5 million litres. Nepal currently stores petrol, diesel and jet fuel.
The tender process to construct 10 million litres of new diesel storage facilities has now begun. Poudel told the newspaper that NOC has also begun development work on a 350,000 litre petrol storage facility in Chitwan, and a 200,000 litre jet fuel storage facility in Pokhara. NOC is also looking to develop an LPG storage facility in Dhanusa, which will be Nepal’s first. NOC and the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) are looking to jointly construct tanks to store 60 million litres of fuel in Jhapa and another 100 million litre tank in Chitwan.
Nepal is landlocked and produces no oil or gas of its own. NOC imports supplies from India and China, and storage is vital. The storage expansion work has been planned since 2016, after an acute shortage of fuel after a supply obstruction resulted in the Nepalese government pledging to expand storage to meet the country’s demand for three months. However, The Himalayan Times reports that the plans had been hindered due to various causes, including a land acquisition corruption scam.