KATHMANDU, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) -- Nepal received 2.5 million liters of petroleum through the Nepal-India cross border petroleum pipeline for the first time on Tuesday after Nepali Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi jointly inaugurated the pipeline, Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) said.
Both prime ministers switched on the pipeline from their respective offices via videoconferencing. Nepal, which has been dependent on tanker-supplied petroleum products from India, will receive most of the diesel needed for the Himalayan country through the pipeline, according to NOC.
On Tuesday, diesel arrived at the petroleum storage facility at Amalekhagunj, a bordering town of Nepal from India's Patna-based storage facility in the Indian state of Bihar through the pipeline travelling around 279 km, according to NOC.
"We have made arrangement of receiving 3 million liters of diesel every day through the pipeline," Sushil Bhattarai, deputy managing director of the NOC told Xinhua on Tuesday. "Our daily demand for diesel in a day is 5 million liters."
Diesel is the most consumed petroleum product in Nepal, and the NOC planned to import just diesel initially. Petrol, kerosene and aviation fuel and Liquefied Petroleum Gas are other petroleum items that Nepal's state-owned entity imports from Indian Oil Corporation, India's state-owned entity. "The use of tankers for importing other petroleum products will be continued," Bhattarai said.
The NOC believes that importing diesel through the pipeline would reduce the risk of adulteration of petroleum products which would help keep vehicles safe too. The pipeline is also expected to reduce the cost of importing fuel from India. Nepal is fully dependent on its southern neighbor for petroleum products.
According to Bhattarai, Nepal army personnel will be mobilized for the security of the pipeline.