The country has fuel reserves for two weeks in the worst case. This is the message from the Ministry of Economic Affairs following a rumor of a fuel shortage that forced many people to go to service stations.
Some of the western regions had no fuel supply as of today following the rumor that there will be a long fuel shortage in the country for weeks or even months.
In Thimphu, hundreds of cars lined up between Ngabiphu and the State Trading Corporation of Bhutan Limited (STCBL) fuel depot.
However, it has been learned that fuel supply from India has stopped since June 12 because two Indian fuel suppliers – Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) – n hadn’t updated their information online, which was mandated by the Indian government. new customs requirements.
Since then, there has been no more fuel supply from these oil traders to Tashi Bhutan Oil Distributor (BoD), Damchen Petroleum and Druk Petroleum.
However, the fuel supply was not interrupted by the Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) and was readily available at the STCBL outlet.
Economic Affairs Minister Loknath Sharma said there was no shortage of fuel and people should not rush. He added that it was an export and import customs issue in Jaigaon, India due to a new requirement that will be addressed soon.
“Any disruption for a day or two will not cause a shortage. People should refrain from rushing to gas pumps for now,” Lyonpo said.
Commerce Department Commercial Director Rinchen Lhazom said the two Indian oil suppliers were still using the old system. “The fuel supply is uninterrupted from the HPCL to the STCBL fuel depot,” she said.
It has been learned that Indian oil suppliers have been asked to have a uniform account to improvise taxation and tracking systems.
Rinchen Lhazom said six tankers were allowed to enter Bhutan today on special request.
In the event of a supply shortage, the country has enough fuel in the depot to last two weeks. “1,000 kiloliters (KL) of gasoline and diesel are stored at Thinchupangkha, near Chuzom,” Rinchen Lhazom said. She also said the Foreign Ministry had been alerted and the ministry was taking up the matter with the Indian government.
Tashi BoD regional manager Lungtenzampa Dendup Tshering said the fuel depot had not been supplied with fuel for three days. He said the 100 KL of gasoline and diesel are available at Tashi BoD, which would be enough for two days.
Official Deputy Managing Director of Tashi BoD, Melam, said India Customs has upgraded the new system which requires Indian suppliers to have an account for export-import code with a uniform account number.
“We are in talks and are resolving the issue. BPCL and IOCL are still in the process of activating the account,” he said. Melam said 18 tankers are still stranded in Jaigaon.
He said the Tashi BoD can provide fuel for the next two to three days. “We’re streamlining while providing fuel,” he said, adding that activating the system online is expected to take about 72 hours.
Metsina (Lobesa) Druk Petroleum Assistant Manager Norbu Gyeltshen said they ran out of fuel today and people are worried about fuel shortage. It is paddy transplanting season in Punakha and Wangdue valley. Diesel is important to farmers who have long since given up raising bulls as a workhorse.
Managing Director of Bhutan Petroleum Division, STCBL, Sugan Pradhan said that five tankers (4 diesel and 1 gasoline) carrying 12 KL each reach their outlet every day. “If it’s busy, the outlet could run out of fuel by 8:00 p.m. every day. But it would be available in the next 2-3 hours,” he said, adding that it would take an hour or two for the next team of tankers to come and refuel.
The estimated average daily consumption of gasoline and diesel is 137 KL and 410 KL respectively in the country.