Minister of State (I/C) for Petroleum & Natural Gas, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan met the Minister of Commerce and Supplies of Nepal, Shri Sunil Bahadur Thapa on August 24, 2015 in Kathmandu. The two Ministers reviewed bilateral cooperation in the petroleum sector.
They agreed that the two sides can work to expand cooperation in oil and gas to several other areas. The two Ministers signed an MoU on a Petroleum Product Pipeline, which will be built from Raxaul in India to Amlekhgunj in Nepal. In addition, IOC will also do re-engineering of the Amlekhgunj petroleum depot to make it compatible with receiving petroleum products by pipeline.
The 41 km pipeline (2 km in India and 39 km in Nepal), which will initially supply Petrol, Diesel and Kerosene will be constructed by Indian Oil Corporation at a cost of app. Rs. 200 crore, from its own budget. It will take IOC 30 months to complete the project after receipt of necessary statutory clearances from Government of Nepal.
Nepal Oil Corporation will invest Rs 75 crore to develop additional facilities in India exports about US$ 1.1 billion worth of petroleum products per annum to Nepal. Bulk of this volume will be transported through this pipeline. This will also ensure smooth,cost effective and environment friendly supply of petroleum products to Nepal.
It may be recalled that Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, during his 1st official visit to Nepal in an address to the Constituent Assembly of Nepal on 4 August 2014 , had announced the building of the petroleum pipeline to Nepal. This is a major step in the direction of fulfillment of the announcement made by Hon’ble Prime Minister. The Indian Cabinet had recently approved this MoU.
It may also be noted that this would be the first transnational petroleum pipeline in South Asia and will be a significant step towards Hon’ble Prime Minister’s vision of improved regional connectivity among Shri Pradhan was accompanied by Ambassador of India, senior officials from MoPNG, MEA and Chairman, IOC.