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NEA slashes industrial loadshedding by an hour

- BIBEK SUBEDI, Kathmandu

Jul 16, 2017-

Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), the state-owned power utility, has slashed industrial loadshedding by an hour with the rise in power generation in the country. 

The state-owned power utility was cutting power supply to industrial clients for four hours per day since November. The power-cut hours were reduced to three effective from Friday.

NEA had started cutting power supply to industrial clients during peak electricity consumption hours to keep individual households free from loadshedding. 

With the monsoon hitting its peak, the water level in majority of river basins where hydropower plants are located has increased. With this, electricity output has also gone up. 

All hydroelectric projects in the country, except Kulekhani 1 and 2, are run-of-the-river, and their power generation increases with the rise in water level in river basins. In other words, run-of-the-river projects generate more electricity along with the rise in discharge of water in rivers. 

Currently, domestic plants are generating just over 700 MW of electricity, up more than 50 MW compared to the total output a month ago, according to NEA. Domestic hydropower projects were producing less than 650 MW of electricity in mid-June. “As the electricity generation will further increase in near future, loadshedding 

hours for industrial clients will be further reduced,” said NEA Spokesperson Prabal Adhikari.

With the surge in domestic power generation, NEA has also slashed down the quantum of electricity imported from India. The power utility is currently importing around 259 MW of electricity from India. In mid-May, NEA was importing around 300 MW of electricity using more than half a dozen cross-border transmission lines. This marks a drop of around 13 percent in electricity imports. The electricity import, according to NEA, will also decrease further in the near future as power generation increases in the country.

As hydropower generation in the country had plunged by almost 60 percent during winter due to fall in water level in most of the river basins, NEA was relying heavily on electricity imported from India to keep the Kathmandu Valley free from power cuts and minimise load-shedding in rest of the country.

Now, the power utility is planning to reduce imports gradually, as domestic output is expected to increase in the coming days. NEA, however, will not reduce imports from Dhalkebar-Muzaffarpur and Tanakpur-Mahendranagar cross-border transmission lines as the electricity imported through these lines is cheaper with per unit purchase price standing at IRs3.60. 

Instead, it will slash imports from Kataiya-Kushhawa and Ramnagar-Gandak cross-border transmission lines, among others, as electricity imported from these lines costs as high as IRs5.62 per unit.

The power utility is currently importing 135 MW of electricity from Dhalkebar-Muzaffarpur cross-border transmission line and up to 30 MW from Tanakpur-Mahendranagar cross-border transmission line.

Published: 16-07-2017 08:40

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