September 10: Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi jointly inaugurated the Motihari-Amlekhgunj Petroleum Pipeline on Tuesday afternoon through video conference.
Oli and Modi pressed a button at their respective office to inaugurate the much-anticipated pipeline, which is the first trans-border petroleum pipeline in South Asia.
The pipeline which was successfully tested on July 18 has officially started receiving supply of petroleum product from India. In the first phase, the Indian Oil Corporation will supply diesel followed by petrol and kerosene.
Nepal and India had agreed to construct the pipeline more than 15 years ago. Initially, the two governments had planned to construct the pipeline from Raxaul to Amlekhgunj. But after the IOC shifted its depot in Motihari, the pipeline was also constructed from Motihari to Amlekhgunj.
The two prime ministers had jointly inaugurated the construction of the pipeline two years ago by pressing a button from New Delhi during PM Oli’s India visit.
The pipeline built with an assistance of Rs 4.4 billion from the Indian government is 69 kilometers long. The pipeline measures 37 kilometers in the Nepali side and 32 towards the Indian side.
The pipeline can supply 200 kiloleters of petroleum product per hour, according to NOC. The state-owned oil monopoly can store 16,000 kiloleters of petrol in Amlekhgunj.
The pipeline is expected to significantly reduce leakage of petroleum products. It will save Rs 2 billion per year in transportation cost and also reduce traffic jam along the highway.