Construction of petro pipeline likely from Parwanipur-Pathlaiya

Kathmandu, February 21

The construction works of Motihari-Amlekhgunj petroleum pipeline is expected to begin from the Parwanipur-Pathlaiya section (stretching almost 20 kilometres) as all the encroachments along this part of the planned route of the pipeline project have been settled.

Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) — the project’s financier — and other agencies appointed by IOC for the project have already started unloading the pipes with 10.75-inch diameter and 8mm thickness along the segments of the project’s route where all the encroachments have been cleared, according to Sushil Bhattarai, acting deputy managing director of Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC).

“Earlier, IOC had stated it could start construction works of the petroleum pipeline project once at least 10 kilometres of the project’s route was fully ready. As encroachments along almost 20-kilometre section of Parwanipur-Pathlaiya segment of the planned route have been completely settled, IOC is expected to start laying pipes from this particular section,” informed Bhattarai.

The 37.2-kilometre project stretches from Raxaul, the Indian border to Amlekhgunj via Birgunj Customs, Birgunj Bypass, Gandak, Parwanipur, Jitpur, Simara and Pathlaiya. Of the total project length, almost 35 kilometres falls on Nepali territory.

Though the planned route of the Motihari-Amlekhgunj petroleum pipeline is almost ready, it is still undecided when the pipe-laying process will actually commence. Though IOC has been supplying required pipes for the project, it is yet to supply other equipment and technology like pipe-lifting machines and welding machines, among others, required for the pipe-laying process.

As this cross-border project was inked between the governments of the two countries, officials of the Ministry of Supplies (MoS) hinted that high-level government officials from both Nepal and India will jointly inaugurate the construction ceremony of the project in the near future.

“The inauguration details of the project shall be decided by the governments of both the countries,” said Anil Kumar Thakur, secretary at MoS.

The Raxaul-Amlekhgunj oil pipeline was first proposed in 1996. However, the project finally edged closer to reality during Indian Prime Minister NarendraModi’s visit to Kathmandu in 2014. The two governments had inked an agreement to execute the project in August 2015.

The INR 2.75-billion petroleum pipeline project is expected to be crucial to ensure regular supply of petroleum products in Nepal and reduce fuel transportation costs.