The Motihari-Amlekhgunj oil pipeline, the first cross-border petroleum products pipeline in South Asia, was inaugurated by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Nepalese counterpart K.P. Sharma Oli on September 10, 2019. The 69 km India-Nepal pipeline will transport fuel from Barauni in Bihar to Amlekhgunj in Nepal. Construction of the pipeline was undertaken by Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL), India’s largest refiner, with an investment of over ₹324 crore, in collaboration with Nepal Oil Corporation Limited (NOCL). Constructed in a record half-time, i.e. 15 months ahead of the scheduled 30 months, the pipeline will carry two million metric tonnes of clean petroleum products at an affordable price to Nepal every year. The pipeline will sharply reduce the cost of transporting fuel to landlocked Nepal from India and the NOCL will be saving around ₹200 crore annually, thereby enabling Nepal to invest the saved money in expanding similar pipelines across its territory. It further reiterates the fact that geographical proximity favours India-Nepal relations naturally and that India continues to be the ‘naturally-selected’ development partner of Nepal. Celebrating the occasion, PM Modi said, “This is a matter of satisfaction that South Asia’s first cross-border petroleum pipeline has been completed in record time. This India-Nepal energy cooperation project is a symbol of our close bilateral relations. It will help to enhance the energy security of the region and substantially cut down on transit costs”.
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