First Business News Portal in English from Nepal
KATHMANDU: Consumption of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) has declined due to the lockdown and prohibitory order imposed by the government in the country.
The Nepal LP Gas Industry Association has stated that the consumption of LPG has decreased as major consumers like hotels, restaurants, schools and industries have been closed due to the lockdown and prohibitory order.
GokulBhandari, president of the association, informed that consumption of LPG has decreased by 25 to 30 percent at present as compared to the previous days when the situation was normal. He shared, “Around 45,000 metric tons of LPG used to be sold per month earlier but now we have been selling only about 35,000 metric tons.”
He mentioned that the reason for this massive decline was because hotels, restaurants and other businesses, which consume quite a huge amount of LPG, are closed at the moment. Bhandari further stated that the closure of schools, colleges and other industries had also affected LPG consumption.
Since only households have been consuming LPG, not only have sales declined in the market but import of the commodity has also significantly decreased.
According to Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC), around 40,000 to 41,000 metric tons of LPG used to be imported when times were normal but now that figure has tumbled down to approximately 30,000 metric tons since August.
Just before the lockdown in March, NOC had imported 45,300 metric tons of LPG which declined to 35,218 metric tons in April. This means that import has also declined by 20 percent.
NOC Spokesperson Binitmani Upadhyay said, “Import of LPG has dropped by around 10,000 to 12,000 metric tons during the lockdown. Usually in normal days, the consumption of LPG in summer is lower than in winter. However, if the situation does not get better by winter then probably the import figure will stay the same.”
According to Upadhyay, around 10,000 metric tons of LPG is consumed by hotels and restaurants.
As soon as the government shut down the market in March, there was shortage of LPG in the market. At that time, NOC had managed the shortage by distributing half-filled cylinders of 7.1 kg instead of the normal 14.2-kg cylinders for around two weeks in March. It was later able to again make fully filled cylinders available in the market. At present, the cost of LPG is Rs 1,375 per cylinder.
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