Indian consulting company finalises DER of pipeline project

  • IOC expected to forward the report to NOC by next week

Kathmandu, November 8

SM Consultant — an Indian consultant company — has finalised the detailed engineering report (DER) of the 41-kilometre Amlekhgunj-Raxaul petroleum pipeline, paving way for the pipeline construction work.

The company submitted the DER of the pipeline project to Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) on October 17, according to Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC). Currently, IOC is studying the DER and will soon forward it to NOC.

“The consulting company has timely finalised the DER of the pipeline and handed it over to IOC,” Bhanubhakta Khanal, spokesperson of NOC, told The Himalayan Times adding that timely finalisation of DER has opened the door for the petroleum pipeline construction works to move ahead.

According to Khanal, IOC is expected to forward the DER by next week to NOC. “Once we get the DER, a technical team from NOC will tally the findings of the DER with routes where pipes are to be laid before sending it to the Ministry of Supply (MoS).”

MoS will then thoroughly go through DER before sending it to the Cabinet for approval, which would then clear the way for IOC to call global tender for construction of the pipeline project.

“IOC will announce a global tender within a week after the DER is approved by the Cabinet. If things go as planned, the construction company will be able to begin laying the pipeline from the beginning of 2017,” added Khanal.

The DER has finalised Birgunj Customs-Birgunj Bypass-Gandak-Parwanipur-Jitpur-Simara-Pathlaiya-Amlekhgunj as the pipe-laying route of the project. Besides, the DER has finalised the land encroachment by public along the route and status regarding rivers, bridges and power transmission lines along the route.

While 39 kilometres of the pipeline project lies in Nepali territory, two kilometres of it lies within Indian land.

NOC has already written a letter to the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport (MoPIT) to clear the structures that have encroached public land along the planned route of the pipeline project.

According to NOC, the DER has identified around 4,000 houses that have encroached upon public land along the route finalised for laying the pipeline.

Meanwhile, Khanal also informed that a six-foot green belt will be constructed along both sides of the finalised route of the pipeline and pipes would be laid beneath the belts so that any repair works in the future will not affect road transportation.

NOC and IOC had signed a memorandum of understanding to implement the cross-border oil pipeline project on August 24 last year with an agreement to complete the project within 30 months from the day when construction begins. However, the project’s implementation was deferred constantly following blockade.

The Amlekhgunj-Raxaul pipeline project is expected to ensure uninterrupted supply of petroleum products to Nepal and reduce petroleum transportation cost by almost 50 per cent. The project is expected to cost INR 2.75 billion. While the Indian government will inject INR two billion for the project, Nepal will invest INR 750 million.