Petrol stock can last up to 128 days, diesel up to 24 days: Economic Affairs Minister

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However, there will be continuous import to add to the stock

The country has a stock of 2,183.39kl of petrol and 3,079.74kl of diesel along with 30,278 numbers of subsidized, 18,947 number of non-subsidized and 382 commercial Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) as of January 5 this year, according to records maintained with the economics affairs ministry.

Economic Affairs Minister Loknath Sharma said that with this stock of fuel, the petrol supply would normally be enough only for 16 days and diesel for eight days. But due to the lockdown, the consumption of fuel has drastically decreased and the petrol can last up to 128 days and diesel for 24 days. In normal times, the stock of subsidized LPG can last up to 20 days and non-subsidized LPG for 55 days.

Lyonpo mentioned that the supply adequacy was calculated based on the average daily consumption during normal times and not on daily consumption during lockdown period from the closing stock on January 5, 2021.

Further, there will be continuous import to add to the stock. “We want to inform that fuel and LPG cannot be stocked up like other essentials due to limitation in storage,” said Lyonpo, “Fuel and LPG is a fast-moving utility that has to be refilled once consumed, therefore we maintain consistent import of fuel and LPG more than anything else.”

Meanwhile, the country has saved Nu 273.118mn worth of fuel from December 23, 2020 to January 5, 2021 – 14 days into the second lockdown.

On an average daily consumption of petrol was 16.956kl and diesel was 128.780kl during the period while in 2019, daily consumption of petrol averaged at 139.093kl and diesel at 413.178kl, according to records maintained with the Ministry of Economic Affairs.

Nation-wide daily consumption of petrol reduced by an average of 122.136kl and diesel by 284.398kl.

During the period, petrol worth Nu 82.677mn and diesel worth Nu 190.441mn was saved.

In 2019, Thimphu alone consumed 37.927kl of petrol and 43.749kl of diesel per day on an average.

Similarly, during this period of second lockdown, Thimphu alone consumed 1.597kl of petrol and 17.159kl of diesel per day on average. This translates to consumption reduction of 95.79% of petrol and 60.78% of diesel in Thimphu daily.

During the first lockdown, the average daily national consumption was 49.07kl of petrol and 83.13kl of diesel. However, during the second lockdown the daily average consumption of petrol has decreased to 16.957kl while daily consumption of diesel has increased to 128.78kl.

Lyonpo said that though 32.113kl of petrol consumption was reduced per day, there was a higher consumption of diesel by 45.650kl per day. Therefore, with increased diesel consumption during second lockdown there is increase in daily cost to Nu 0.631mn per day.

Lyonpo said that the increased consumption of diesel can be attributed to constant movement of essential trucks and decrease in petrol is due to complete halt on private or personal cars which is a positive event.

“The increase in diesel consumption is good for the economy as this shows that most of the agricultural, livestock and essential goods have been moving which ensured consistent chain of supply,” said Lyonpo.

Dechen Dolker from Thimphu

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