Kathmandu, August 10
Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) and Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) have decided to adopt the Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) technology to lay pipes beneath a few encroachments and other natural obstructions along the planned Motihari-Amlekhgunj Petroleum Pipeline Project.
Though a majority of public and private encroachments along the planned route of the cross-border fuel pipeline project have been cleared and the pipe laying process has already begun, a few encroachments like temples and permanent buildings and natural obstructions like rivers have been affecting the pipe-laying process.
Hence, both NOC and IOC have decided to adopt HDD technology in laying pipes along such sections, which measures almost two kilometres.
The horizontal directional drilling, which is also known as directional boring technology, is a steerable trenchless method of installing underground pipes, conduit or cables in a shallow arc along a prescribed bore path by using a surface-launched drilling rig, with minimal impact on the surrounding area.
“Using the HDD technology, we can lay pipes underneath the encroachment without affecting the surface,” informed Sushil Bhattarai, acting deputy director general of NOC.
Though HDD technology is quite costly compared to traditional method of laying pipes by digging, the two sides have decided to adopt it to expedite the oil project’s construction process, as per Bhattarai.
Moreover, IOC has already delivered the HDD technology to the contractor of the project — Likhit Infrastructure, a construction company based in Maharashtra, India.
As per NOC, pipe-laying process has already been completed along almost 15 kilometres of the project’s route on Nepal side. However, a few such obstructions, especially along Jitpur and Parwanipur have been creating problems.
Currently, the entire pipe laying process of the project has been halted since one month owing to unfavourable monsoon.
Bhattarai claimed that the pipe-laying process will be resumed within a few weeks.
Stretching almost 69 kilometres, 32.7 km of the pipeline will be laid in the Indian territory and 36.2 km will be laid in Nepali territory. The cross-border project involves laying pipeline of 10.75-inch diameter and will have the capacity to supply 200,000 litres of fuel per hour, with fuel pumping facilities in Motihari.
The INR 2.75-billion project, which is being funded by the Indian government, is expected to be completed within mid-October of 2020.
A version of this article appears in print on August 11, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.