Kathmandu,10th September.Prime Minister of India Sh Narendra Modi and Prime Minister of Nepal Rt. Hon. Mr K P Sharma Oli, today, carried out the joint remote inauguration of the India-Nepal cross-border petroleum products pipeline from their respective capitals. The 69 km pipeline, which starts from Motihari in India and ends at Amlekhgunj in Nepal, is first of its kind in the South Asia region. Indian Oil Corporation Ltd, India’s largest refiner, built the pipeline, with an investment of invested over INR 324 cr, in collaboration with Nepal Oil Corporation Ltd fulfilling the commitment made under an MoU signed in August 2014. Both these companies are also working to build additional storage facility at Amlekhgunj Depot which will augment the storage of petroleum products in Nepal towards which NOCL has committed the estimated cost of INR 75 cr. IOCL and NOCL both worked in collaboration with various Government departments, including authorities of Birgunj Metropolitan city, Department of Roads and Department of Environment and Forest.
The Motihari-Amlekhgunj petroleum products pipeline is envisaged to put in place a mechanism for assured, continuous, cost effective, quality and eco-friendly supply of petroleum products to Nepal. Presently, the products are being transported from India to Nepal by tankers/trucks at 13 pick-up points (7 products and 6 LPG). The Raxaul-Birgunj is the most important trade point between the two countries and is expected to reduce the movement of Tanker Trucks from these points to consumption centres in Nepal. The 10” diameter pipeline has a capacity of 2 Million Metric Ton Per Annum (MMTPA). The supplies from IOCL to NOCL started in 1974 and the relationship between the two countries in the petroleum sector has further strengthened with the operationalization of the pipeline. The pipeline is equipped with latest SCADA tele-supervisory system and most advanced leak detection system. The signals of any tinkering or damage to the pipeline will be received through the optic fibre cable along the pipeline at the control centres, including at Amlekhgunj depot. Government of Nepal is understood to have deployed its army to ensure security to the pipeline. IOCL also extended the training to over 25 NOCL official and technicians in operations and maintenance of pipeline in India and will continue to directly assist for atleast an year.
Earlier, during the first official visit of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to Nepal in August 2014, both India and Nepal had announced the building of a petroleum product pipeline. The ground-breaking of the project was carried jointly by the two Prime Ministers in April 2018 during the state visit of Prime Minister of Nepal to India. With Government of Nepal giving it national priority, the pipeline was completed in just 15 months, half of scheduled construction period and the bilateral flagship project reflects the new era of bilateral cooperation.
Will share photos and one or two paras more based on what both Prime Ministers say in their respective remarks during the remote inauguration.