Kathmandu: India and Nepal on Monday inked an agreement for a 41-km Amlekhgunj-Raxaul petroleum pipeline, with visiting Indian Minister Dharmendra Pradhan saying its construction would be completed within 30 months. Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Pradhan and his Nepalese counterpart Sunil Bahadur Thapa inked the Memorandum of Understanding for the construction of the pipeline from Raxaul (India) to Amlekhgunj (Nepal) and re-engineering the Amlekhgunj Depot and allied facilities.
Amlekhgunj has the largest petroleum depot in Nepal owned by Nepal Oil Corporation. "Indian Oil Corporation is capable of executing the project and we expect it will be completed before the set deadline of 30 months," he said after singing the MoU. On behalf of the Indian government, the IOC will construct the pipeline and re-engineer Amlekhgunj depot and allied facilities.
The project will be completed in two phases. In the first phase, the pipeline would be constructed. The minister suggested to the Nepalese side to extend the pipeline up to Kathmandu, adding that India would extend all possible help to Nepal in this regard. The IOC would bear the cost of Rs.200 crore for the first phase. A long-term contract (initially for five years, extendable for two terms of five years each) between the IOC and Nepal Oil Corporation would be in place for the project.
The government of Nepal requested for the construction of this pipeline during Prime Minister Narendra Modi s visit to the Himalayan nation on August 3-4, 2014. Nepal Oil Corporation would contribute Rs.75 crore for re-engineering the Amlekhgunj depot. While 39 km of the proposed pipeline lies in the Indian territory, remaining two km is in Nepal.