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Nepal requests India for more electricity

- KAMAL DEV BHATTARAI, NEW DELHI
To bridge the gap, Nepal is currently importing around 380MW of electricity from India

Mar 25, 2017-

Nepal has requested India to provide additional power through newly-built 132kV Kushaha-Kataiya and 132kV Raxual-Parwanipur cross-border transmission lines.

The construction of these two transmission lines was completed recently.

Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), the state-owned power utility, has already requested India to provide 50 MW of electricity through each of these transmission lines. NEA is planning to supply electricity bought from India to industrial corridors in Nepal, such as the one located on Bara-Parsa stretch.

In a meeting with Indian Minister of State for Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines Piyush Goyal, Nepali Ambassador to India Deep Kumar Upadhaya requested the Indian side to expedite supply of electricity through the new transmission lines.

“During the meeting, issues related to supply of additional power through newly built transmission lines, review of tariff at which India is selling power to Nepal, and Nepal-India cooperation in the power sector were discussed,” said Hari Odari, spokesperson of the Nepali Embassy in the Indian capital of New Delhi.

Both sides have reached an understanding to arrange a meeting between NEA and Power Trade Cooperation of India to settle all technical issues related to supply of power to Nepal.

“Minister Goyal has assured that he will instruct concerned agencies in India to expedite the process,” Odari, who was present in the meeting, said. Hydropower generation in the country has plunged by almost 60 percent as the water level in most of the river basins has fallen due to onset of the dry season. As a result, NEA is relying heavily on the electricity bought from India to keep the country free from power cuts.

To bridge the gap, Nepal is currently importing around 380MW of electricity from India through various cross-border transmission lines.

The country’s peak electricity demand hovers at 1,240MW. NEA has managed to end power outages by cutting off power supply to energy-intensive industries during peak electricity consumption hours. Nepal, home to around 6,000 rivers, rivulets and tributaries, has the potential to generate over 40 GW of electricity through hydropower. But as of now, the country’s installed capacity stands at less than 1,000 MW.

There is a big gap in demand and supply of electricity because Nepal has not been able to build bigger hydropower plants since the 70MW Middle Marsyangdi Hydroe- lectric Project, located in Lamjung, came into operation in 2008.

Published: 25-03-2017 10:31

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