• Amlekhgunj oil pipeline to be extended to Chitwan

    Nepal Oil Corporation has decided to extend the Motihari-Amlekhgunj oil pipeline to Chitwan with the construction of the country’s first pipeline being built with Indian assistance nearing completion. According to the corporation, the pipeline being laid from Motihari, India to Amlekhgunj is expected to be finished next month. Only 5 km of the pipeline passing through Parsa National Park, out of the total length of 36.2 km that falls within Nepal, remains to be built.

    Officials of the state-owned oil monopoly said tenders would be invited to conduct a detailed project report to extend the pipeline to Lothar of Chitwan district. “The corporation is likely to call for bids in May.”The source said that Nepal Oil Corporation had already conducted a pre-feasibility study for the Amlekhgunj-Chitwan pipeline. India has expressed its willingness to help Nepal extend the pipeline.

    Birendra Kumar Goit, the spokesperson for Nepal Oil Corporation, said the corporation had started groundwork to finalize whether to adopt a government-to-government (G2G) or business-to-business (B2B) modality for the construction of the pipeline. The government has given priority to building the pipeline in a bid to reduce the import costs of petroleum products and check gasoline theft in transit. Following the construction of the cross-border pipeline, Nepal Oil Corporation is expected to save more than Rs2 billion being spent on gasoline imports.

    Goit said the corporation was working on determining the distribution modality of the fuel imported via the pipeline. According to him, the enterprise has upgraded three out of its four fuel storage tanks at the Amlekhgunj depot. These tanks can stock 16,000 kilolitres of fuel. Nepal Oil Corporation has decided to import diesel first after the pipeline is ready. It has the capacity to transport fuel at a rate of 291 kilolitres per hour. “Later on, we will be using the system to import petrol too,” said Goit.

    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 the related infrastructure of the project, according to the bilateral agreement.

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