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Will petrol become cheaper in Nepal after the pipeline supply starts?

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Soon the import of petrol from India will start in Nepal through the pipeline. This partnership between India and Nepal is expected to reduce the price of petrol in the landlocked country.

Although it will take some time to transport petrol through the pipeline, if the work goes ahead according to the plan, it is likely to start from next January.

Vineetmani Upadhyay, Head of Nepal Oil Corporation’s Amlekhganj Depot, said that the necessary infrastructure construction work is now going on at a fast pace. According to him, there may be some reduction in the cost of petrol transportation.

So far, only diesel has been supplied through pipelines in Nepal. After the supply started, the price of diesel in Nepal was reduced by two rupees per liter.

South Asia’s first international pipeline

A pipeline has been built to supply diesel from Motihari in Bihar, India to Amlekhganj in Nepal. Its work started in August 2018.

However, this first international petroleum pipeline in South Asia is currently supplying only diesel and not petrol.

An official of Nepal Oil Corporation said that this could not happen because the infrastructure capable of storing petrol in Amlekhganj was not completed.

But in the second phase of pipeline construction, in partnership with Indian Oil Corporation, the construction of such storage centers is going on at a fast pace, he said.

There is a plan to extend this international pipeline, built in joint investment between Nepal and India, to 70 km up to Lothar in Chitwan. The total length of the pipeline currently under construction is 69.2 km, of which 36.2 km is in Nepal.

Petrol supply will start from January

Vineetmani Upadhyay said that under the second phase of the pipeline, the construction of a storage center and other infrastructure is underway in Amlekhganj.

According to him, now various infrastructure works are being done with the joint investment of NOC and IOC. If the work continues at the current pace, the work of supplying petrol through the pipeline will begin by January 2024.

He said that the work of storage tank, pump house and fire control system is also going on for this.

According to Nepal Oil Corporation, about 4,000 kiloliters of diesel is being supplied daily through the pipeline.

Currently, diesel is being supplied from Amlekhganj depot to Bhairawa and Biratnagar depots through tankers. From there, diesel is supplied to remote areas of the country. Earlier, diesel was supplied from Indian Oil Corporation depots in Barauni in Bihar and Banar region for Bhairahawa for Biratnagar. Since the transportation cost increases when transporting diesel from the Indian depots located at a greater distance, the transportation cost is saved when diesel is supplied from the Amlekhganj depot located at a short distance for Biratnagar and Bhairahawa.

How much storage capacity?

According to Upadhyay, the Amlekhganj depot has a storage capacity of 19,000 kiloliters of diesel.

He said, “The share of diesel in Nepal’s total petroleum consumption is the highest. The share of diesel in the country’s total consumption is 65 to 70 percent.”

But the storage capacity of petrol in Amlekhganj is very limited. Only 3,500 kiloliters of petrol can be stored here.

According to him, two four thousand kiloliter petrol storage tanks are being built in Amlekhganj with the investment of IOC. Similarly, two tanks are being built with the investment of Nepal Oil Corporation.

They say that when diesel and petrol are sent through the same pipe, some amount of oil is mixed. For this, a separate tank is being made to store oil.

After the storage site is built, the petrol that is currently being filled in tankers from Barauni will also be brought to Nepal through the pipeline.

In the second phase of this plan, it is said that Nepal and India together will spend more than two billion rupees.

Benefits of Pipeline Supply

According to the official, the work of the pipeline should have been completed earlier and there was some delay due to the covid epidemic. Upadhyay said, “Pipeline is a modern means of transporting oil, it not only makes transportation easy but also fast and reliable, theft and adulteration are also reduced.

According to him, now it costs 6.72 Nepalese rupees per liter to deliver petrol to Kathmandu, after the supply from the pipeline, this cost will decrease to four and a half rupees. (Source: BBC)

A national (A) class daily newspaper published from Birganj

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