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India, Nepal ink MoU on petroleum products pipeline

India- Nepal Petroleum and Natural Gas pipeline  

Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan met the Minister of Commerce and Supplies of Nepal Sunil Bahadur Thapa reviewed bilateral cooperation between the two nations in the petroleum sector.

Both agreed that India and Nepal can take steps to expand cooperation in oil and gas to several other areas. They signed an MoU on a petroleum product pipeline which will be built from Raxaul in India to Amlekhgunj in Nepal. In addition, the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) will also do reengineering of the Amlekhgunj petroleum depot to make it compatible with receiving petroleum products by pipeline. The 41-kilometer-long pipeline (two kilometers in India and 39 kilomters in Nepal) which will initially supply petrol, diesel and kerosene will be constructed by Indian Oil Corporation at a cost of approximately Rs. 200 crores, from its own budget. It will take the 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 Amlekhgunj depot. India exports about USD 1.1 billion worth of petroleum products per annum to Nepal.

The 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 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 SAARC countries. Pradhan was accompanied by the Ambassador of India, senior officials from his ministry and MEA, and the chairman of the IOC.