Kathmandu, September 9
Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi will virtually inaugurate the Nepal-India cross-border petroleum pipeline on Tuesday through video conference via remote control.
As per the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies (MoICS), the formal inauguration will be marked by pressing a switch button by the executive heads of both countries through a live video conference connected simultaneously in between the Prime Minister’s Office in Singha Durbar, Office of the Indian
Prime Minister, Amlekhgunj-based oil depot of Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) and Motihari-based depot of the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC).
Sushil Bhattarai, deputy executive director at NOC, said the two heads of states are scheduled to press the pipeline switch that opens the valve of the petroleum pipeline amid the presence of high-level government dignitaries of both countries at the conference.
“We have completed all the necessary works related to the oil pipeline inauguration programme,” he said.
NOC and IOC had successfully concluded the ‘testing transfer’ of the Motihari-Amlekhgunj pipeline project last month. The IOC, through its refinery in Motihari, had supplied diesel to NOC’s Amlekhgunj-based depot back then. However, NOC had unloaded only 1,000 kilolitres of the 3,100 kilolitres of diesel supplied by Indian Oil Corporation via the pipeline to test the newly constructed tanks at Amlekhgunj.
As per Bhattarai, the pipeline is able to supply 394 kilolitres of petroleum products per hour. “In the initial phase we plan to receive only diesel, which is about the 70 per cent of total petroleum product imports, through the pipeline.”
After the pipeline is formally inaugurated, 3,000 kilolitres of diesel will be imported per day through the pipeline, he informed.
The Motihari-Amlekhgunj oil pipeline was first proposed in 1996. However, the project finally edged closer to reality during Indian PM Modi’s visit to Kathmandu in 2014. The two governments had inked an agreement to execute the project in August 2015. However, project construction was delayed following the 2015 earthquake and supply obstruction along the southern border.
Bhattarai further said the pipeline will reduce the price of transportation of petroleum products worth Rs one billion. “After the commercial operation of the project starts, it will bring down fuel price by at least one rupee per
litre in the domestic market.”
Written by Ankit Khadgi
This news first appeared on https://thehimalayantimes.com/business/pm-oli-modi-to-inaugurate-oil-pipeline-today/ under the title “PM Oli, Modi to inaugurate oil pipeline today”. Bolchha Nepal is not responsible or affiliated towards the opinion expressed in this news article.