Kathmandu, September 9
Almost 70 per cent of the pipe laying process of the much-hyped Motihari-Amlekhgunj Pipeline Project has been completed so far, according to Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC).
While pipes have been laid at majority sections of the project’s route in Simara and Gandak Chowk and Bypass Road of
Birgunj, works are underway to lay pipes along the project’s route in Pathlaiya, Jitpur and Parwanipur, informed Birendra Goit, spokesperson for NOC.
“The pipe laying process has not been started especially along different conserved areas. We will begin to lay pipes along these areas once the environmental impact assessment (EIA) of the oil project is completed,” said Goit.
Once the pipe laying process is completed, works regarding development of fuel pumping stations and injecting fuel tanks, among others will be carried out as per NOC.
“The pipe laying process was hampered due to the unfavourable monsoon for a few months. However, the construction works of the project have been expedited now,” added Goit.
The cross-border pipeline project stretches almost 69 kilometres. Of the total length, 32.7 km falls in Indian territory while 36.2 km falls in the Nepali territory.
The 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 on the Indian side.
The pipeline project, which was signed between Nepal and India in August 2015, states that both NOC and Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) will together complete the project within designated timeframe of 30 months from the date of receipt of statutory clearances.
As NOC claims that the actual construction works (pipe-laying process) of the project began from April 17, the project is expected to be completed within mid-October 2020.
However, NOC officials claim that the project will be completed before the given deadline. “Both NOC and IOC are committed to completing the project before the deadline with support from related Nepali government agencies and other related firms in the project,” said Sushil Bhattarai, acting deputy managing director of NOC.
The INR 2.75-billion petroleum pipeline project will be crucial to ensure smooth supply of petroleum products in Nepal and reduce fuel transportation costs. While the Indian government is injecting INR two billion for the project, Nepal will be contributing INR 750 million.
A version of this article appears in print on September 10, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.