LP gas bullets waiting for unloading on the premises of Shree Gas Industry in Jungekhola of Dhading. Photo: Sarita Shrestha/Republica
Dhading gas bottlers say not getting cylinders as expected for refilling
DHADING, April 14: Liquefied petroleum (LP) gas bullets that have reached bottling plants have not been able to unload gas as plants are not getting back cylinders from consumers for refilling.
Thirteen gas bottling plants of Dhading have circulated over one million cylinders in the market. But as they are not getting back empty cylinders from the market for refilling, plants have no option but to keep bullets bringing LP gas from India waiting.
Shree Gas Industry in Jungekhola of Thakre Rural Municipality-7 has circulated 101,464 cylinders in Kathmandu and Dhading. Shyam Krishna Upreti, storekeeper of the industry, said bullets bringing LP gas from India have not been able to unload because cylinders were not being returned for refilling as expected. “We used to send 3,500-4,000 cylinders to the market on a normal day,” he said, adding: “Twenty-three gas bullets are waiting for unloading at our company.”
Citing possible shortage of LP gas in the market amid lockdown, Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) had instructed gas bottlers to send half-filled cylinders (7.1 kg) to the market. But consumers are not buying half-filled cylinders, bottlers say. “We have to face huge loss while sending half-filled cylinders to the market as the bottling process is the same, transportation cost per cylinder is the same and manpower required is more or less the same,” added Upreti
Now, the NOC has asked bottlers to send full cylinders (14.2 kg) to the market.
Shree Gas has the capacity to store six bullets. It has been permitted by the NOC to import 248 tons per month.
According to gas bottlers, 68 bullets bringing LP gas to bottlers have been stuck in Dhading district itself. Many bottlers still have half-filled cylinders in stock as demand for LPG fell after the lockdown was enforced.
Milan Karki of Shreeram Gas Industry said bottlers will face a big problem if gas bullets continue to arrive, and bottlers do not get back cylinders for refilling. “Most of the bottlers half-filled cylinders in stock as many consumers stocked LP gas before lockdown was enforced. They are not keen to buy half-filled cylinders,” Karki added. “This is the reason why gas bullets are stuck at the plants.”
There are 19 gas bottling plants in the section of Prithvi Highway between Kurintar of Chitwan and Naubise of Dhading. They are under pressure to buy LP gas as per the quota given by the NOC. But they have not been able to refill cylinders to their full capacity as consumers are not returning cylinders for refilling.
Each bottler has 7-13 LP gas bullets waiting for unloading, according to the bottlers.