Pipe-laying under cross-border fuel delivery project nears completion


Jun 8, 2019-

Pipe-laying under the Amlekhgunj-Raxaul-Motihari cross-border pipeline project is nearing completion. According to engineer Sharad Prasad Poudyal, the project office in Nepal has expedited pipe-laying work at Parsa National Park.

“Only a few long pipes remain to be connected in the national park area,” said Poudyal. “Construction crews are working to fix the 12-metre-long pipes at proper angles as required.” According to officials, 9 km of the oil pipeline passes through the national park area.

The project office is also installing and upgrading valves at Nepal Oil Corporation’s Amlekhgunj depot. A large number of valves need to be installed to properly manage and store the gasoline imported from India.

Once the pipeline is completed, fuel will flow from the Indian Oil Corporation depot in Motihari to Amlekhgunj in Bara district, and partially eliminate the need for tanker trucks. It is expected to save Rs2 billion annually in transportation costs.

The project will test the pipeline within a few days, and authorities are working to have it fully operational before the monsoon, Poudyal said. According to Nepal Oil Corporation, 36 km out of the pipeline’s total length of 78 km lies in Indian territory and 42 km lies in Nepali territory. The pipeline was expected to come into operation in mid-April this year, but the completion date was rescheduled for mid-July. After the construction work is completed, training will be provided to 25 technicians working on the project, said the state-owned utility.

Pipe-laying work began in March 2018. Oil will be imported from India via the 78-km pipeline. A large section of the pipeline in Nepal passes alongside the Birgunj-Pathlaiya highway. The pipeline is buried at a depth of 2.5 metres.

After the training of technicians is over, the pipeline’s ownership will be handed over to Nepal and it will come into operation, according to Nepal Oil Corporation Deputy Director Pushkar Karki.

Nepal Oil Corporation has planned to extend the Motihari-Amlekhgunj oil pipeline to Chitwan.

Officials of the state-owned oil monopoly said tenders would be invited soon to conduct a detailed project report to extend the pipeline to Lothar in Chitwan district.

According to officials, the oil corporation is working to determine the distribution modality of the fuel imported via the pipeline and has upgraded three out of its four fuel storage tanks at the Amlekhgunj depot. These tanks can hold 16,000 kilolitres of fuel each.

In the beginning, the enterprise plans to import diesel. The pipeline has a capacity to transport fuel at the rate of 291 kilolitres per hour. The construction of the pipeline was proposed in 1995, but the project gained shape only after the two governments signed an agreement on August 25, 2015.

Nepal has identified the Amlekhgunj-Raxaul-Motihari oil pipeline as a national priority project. The estimated cost of the project is Rs4.4 billion. Of the total outlay, India is spending Rs3.2 billion while Nepal is putting up the rest of the money, mainly to build related infrastructure, as per the terms of the bilateral agreement between the neighbours.

Published: 08-06-2019 08:19

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