KATHMANDU, April 6: Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) is installing security locking system in petroleum tankers to control theft of petroleum products.
According to NOC officials, the petroleum monopolist is procuring security locks from the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC). After the security locking system is installed, tankers can be unlocked only after they arrive in the NOC depots.
IOC is the sole supplier of petroleum products to Nepal. Around 1,500 tankers ferry petroleum products to Nepal from the depots of IOC.
NOC is introducing security locking system in tankers on the suggestion of a taskforce that it had formed under its engineer Birendra Goit. Initially, NOC is procuring 20,000 security locks from IOC.
A meeting of the taskforce held on Monday had suggested to NOC to implement the security locking system at the earliest.
Sitaram Pokharel, the spokesperson for NOC, said the petroleum monopolist will import security locks for 200 tankers from India in the first phase. “We will request IOC to provide security locks free of cost,” he added.
Nepal Petroleum Dealers Association (NPDA) and Nepal Oil Transporter Association had long been piling pressure on NOC to install security locking system in petroleum tankers to control theft of petroleum products.
“Around 200 tankers already have such security system,” Linendra Pradhan, the president of NPDA, said. “But the system has been of no use as NOC is yet to procure locks.”
It is believed that implementation of security locking system will prevent petroleum theft allegedly being carried out in the involvement of NOC officials, tanker drivers and petroleum dealers. NOC officials say that the implementation of the security locking system will help to bring down NOC’s loss.
IOC had introduced such locking system for its tankers 14 years ago.
“IOC officials will lock the tankers after fuel is loaded and the lock can be opened only after the tankers arrive in our depots,” Goit said, adding: “This technology can help a lot to control leakage of petroleum products.”
Meanwhile, NOC has started preparation to change design of dome cover, deliver valve and hinge, among others, to implement the new security system. Tanker operators are bearing all the cost involved, according to NOC officials.
“We are hopeful that the new security system will prevent petroleum theft,” said Pokharel.