Process to acquire land for the purpose has already begun, say officials
KATHMANDU, Jan 4: Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) has said that it would build Amlekhgunj-Chitwan petroleum pipeline once the Raxaul-Amlekhgunj (38 kilometers) petroleum pipeline becomes ready for operation.
The state-owned petroleum monopolist has already started the process to acquire land in Chitwan to build oil depot.
NOC Managing Director Gopal Khadka said that the Raxaul-Amlekhgunj pipeline will be extended till Chitwan in the second phase. “We have already started the process to buy land in Chitwan,” he added.
NOC has already invited bids to buy 20 bigaha of land to construct oil depot in Chitwan.
According to NOC, the length of Amlekhgunj-Chitwan petroleum pipeline will be 80 kilometers.
Analysts say that it is important to bring petroleum pipeline till Chitwan as huge amount of petroleum products is consumed in the Kathmandu Valley, Pokhara, and Bhairahawa. They contend that import cost will decrease once the pipeline is built.
Sushil Bhattarai, acting deputy managing director of NOC, said that fuel transport cost will decrease once the petroleum pipeline comes into operation. NOC has already started the process to buy land in Chitwan to increase storage capacity of petroleum products, according to Bhattarai.
NOC has invited bids from interested parties to buy land in all seven states to build petroleum storage facilities. According to NOC, they plan to increase the total storage capacity to 390 million liters.
The government has allocated Rs 5 billion to NOC in this fiscal year to start the project. NOC has said that it was expanding the storage capacity as the existing capacity cannot serve meet the demand of only two weeks.
NOC has been drawing flak from all quarters for making adjustments in fuel price only when the price is rising. This time, NOC has decided to spend the profit on infrastructure development which will help consumers to get petroleum products easily.
NOC has planned to construct petroleum depots having capacity of 55,000 kilolieters (KL) in Jhapa, 36,000 KL in Janakpur, 137,000 KL in Kathmandu, 40,000 KL in Pokhara, 65,000 KL in Bhairahawa, 30,000 KL in Surkhet and 25,000 KL in Dhangadi.
Currently, NOC has 10 depots having combined capacity of around 71,000 KL.
The laxness of the government to clear houses, trees and electricity poles from the project area has delayed construction of Raxaul-Amlekhgunj petroleum pipeline project.