KATHMANDU, August 30: The Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) will spend around Rs 6 billion on infrastructure development.
The state-owned utility has given priority to infrastructure including fuel storage, pipeline and upgrading of depots in the annual budget of the current fiscal year 2021/22. The corporation, which had a budget of Rs 7.61 billion in FY 2020/21, has reduced the size of the budget this year after spending only Rs 1 billion in the last fiscal year.
The corporation's board of directors has passed a budget of Rs 7.40 billion for the current fiscal year. Of that, Rs 5.83 billion is for infrastructure development. The corporation has been selling fuel from Indian Oil Corporation (IOC).
The government has already directed the corporation to build a fuel storage facility with the capacity to store enough fuel for at least three months. As the storage capacity is very low, a budget of Rs 1.45 billion has been allocated for the construction of fuel storage facility.
Managing Director of the NOC Surendra Kumar Paudel said that construction of two pipeline projects, expansion of storage capacity and upgradation of depots have been given priority. "The construction of pipelines and storage facilities is the need of the hour," he said.
The NOC has prioritized the fuel storage facility as the country is used to facing fuel shortage as soon as there is simple obstruction in the transportation of the fuel. The corporation is preparing to build a petroleum pipeline from Siliguri in India to Jhapa and extend the Motihari-Amalekhgunj pipeline to Lothar in Chitwan. Rs 1 billion has already been allocated for the purpose. The technical committee has prepared a report to expand the petroleum pipeline.
There is a plan to build 8,000 kiloliter capacity tanks and three 250 milliliter capacities intermix tanks in Amlekhgunj to store and distribute the fuel brought through the pipeline in a systematic manner. There is also a plan to build a Kerosene lab in which kerosene can be made when diesel and petrol are mixed in the pipeline.
The corporation has also taken forward the construction of petroleum storage facilities, converting old kerosene tanks in various depots to make them capable of storing diesel and petrol. A budget of Rs 1.45 billion has been allocated for the construction of the storage facility. The corporation has stated that it will build a petrol storage facility of 8,000 to 10,000 kiloliters in Amkhalegunj and Thankot.
The NOC has formulated policies, programs and budget to achieve the goals set by the government through the budget. Regular and easy supply of fuel including the development of infrastructures and upgradation of depots are also included in the program. The NOC has been working in partnership with the IOC to build large storage houses, depots and pipelines of petroleum products in a systematic and reliable manner.