Considering the threat of having a huge fuel reserve depot above the residential area in Dechencholing, the economic affairs ministry proposed the relocation of POL (Petroleum, Oil and Lubricants) depot to Thingchupangha, Dogar gewog in Paro.
Three years after the commencement of the relocation, the project was inaugurated on Friday.
The POL depot relocation project started in March 2016. The government of India supported with Nu 277.88M for the relocation.
The total capacity of the fuel depot at Thingchupangkha is 2,000KL, which is two times bigger than the old depot at Dechencholing. The new depot will reserve 1,000KL of diesel and petrol each. The project covered an area of seven acres.
Director of trade, Sonam Tenzin said that the reserve depot at Dechencholing was not enough to cater to the needs of all six western dzongkhags during emergencies. Initially the capacity was planned to be1,600KL however, after several past incidents of road blocks and damages to bridges, the capacity was increased to 2,000KL, he said.
Thimphu today consumed about 80KL a day and the new capacity will provide reserved fuels to all the six western dzongkhags for more than two weeks during emergencies. The reserve depot has 1,000KL of diesel and petrol, a half filled depot at the moment.
He said that the department filled up the depot before the monsoon because availability of fuel during winter was not a problem, “We have to recycle the old oil, which is sent back to the distributers and they will refill it again.”
The new depot is equipped with safety measures and has a laboratory to test adulterated samples.
Sonam Tenzin said that the depot will provide testing services and a team would be sent to different depots to check quality of fuel.
The department of trade has plans to build small-scale depots in eastern and central Bhutan during the 12th Plan.