Nov 21, 2018-
Nearly 80 percent of pipe-laying works of the cross-border petroleum pipeline have been completed on Nepal’s side in the last nine months. The pipeline project started on March 9.
The Nepal-India oil pipeline is 69 km long, stretching from Amlekhgunj in Nepal to Motihari in India.
According to project officials, of the 26.2 km pipeline which lie in Nepal’s side—stretching from Raxaul to Amlekhgunj—works on a 21 km section have been completed.
The Indian authority has also completed 27 km of pipe laying works out of the 33.7 km portion that stretches from Raxaul to Motihari. Sharad Prasad Poudel, chief of the petroleum pipeline project, said they have started pipe laying works in the bordering areas of Birgunj.
According to him, works were halted for few days after plastic and waste affected the pipe drilling works in Birgunj areas. “Works have resumed now.” He said that drilling works have been completed in the Birgunj Customs area to Rajat Jayanti Chowk. “In some places, walls along the border had to be demolished,” he said.
The project said that pipes have been laid under the riverbeds of Jitpur Lalka Bridge and Parwanipur Sirsiya Bridge. The project has also received clearance from the Parsa National Park to lay pipes along the Pathlaiya-Amlekhgunj forest section. The project needs to cut down 25,000 trees inside Bara-Parsa National Park which fall along the pipeline’s route. “However, we are waiting for the final clearance from the Cabinet to cut down trees.”
The project said that pipeline works in the Indian side have been progressing better than Nepal due to less obstacles there.
Indian construction company Likhiya Infrastructures has been awarded the pipeline construction project with the completion deadline of 15 months. Simlesh Limited of Maharashtra, India, is manufacturing the steel pipes being used in the project.
Moti Prabha Infra Tech, another Indian company based in Faridabad, has been upgrading four vertical fuel storage tanks at the Amlekhgunj depot of Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC). These tanks have a combined storage capacity of 13,400 kilolitres.
Two of the tanks can hold 3,900 kilolitres each and the other two tanks can hold 1,500 kilolitres and 4,100 kilolitres respectively.
Indian Oil Corporation has been funding the major cost of the petroleum pipeline construction. NOC is bearing the cost of land compensation. The design throughput capacity of the pipeline is 2 million tonnes per annum.
The pipeline project is expected to cost IRs3.24 billion.
The construction of the pipeline is expected to help ensure regular supply of petroleum products to Nepal besides reducing transportation costs and eliminating the vagaries of transportation by tanker truck. The country’s fuel import bill surged 43.1 percent in fiscal 2017-18 to Rs170.13 billion. Despite reduced load-shedding hours, oil imports continued to soar, further widening the trade deficit, officials said. The fuel import bill accounted for around 14 percent of the country’s total import spending in 2017-18.
Source: The Kathmandu Post