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Nepal-China joint technical team to meet next week

  • cross-border transmission line
- Post Report, Kathmandu

Aug 22, 2018-

Nepali members of the Nepal-China joint technical team formed to prepare a detailed project report (DPR) for a cross-border transmission line are scheduled to visit China next week to hold their first meeting.

The five-member team led by Bajra Bhusan Chaudhary, deputy managing director of the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), will be meeting with their Chinese counterparts to finalise the road map for the preparation of the DPR.

The proposed trans-Himalayan electricity line straddling the northern border will be the first one connecting Nepal and China. Last July, the two countries established a joint technical team to expedite the construction of the transmission line.

Initially, the Nepali side had invited their Chinese counterparts to Kathmandu with the intention of hosting the first meet. When the Chinese side, coordinated by the vice-chair of State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC), invited the Nepali members of the joint technical team to China for the first meeting, they agreed.

During the meeting, both sides will work to appoint a consultant to prepare the DPR for the project.

“Our first priority will be to appoint a consultant to prepare the DPR,” said a Nepali member of the joint technical team. “Then we will try to finalise the construction and funding modality of the cross-border transmission line.”

The 400 kV transmission line will extend from Galchhi in Nepal to Shigatse in China. As only 80 km of the estimated 800-km length of the transmission line lies within Nepali territory, the NEA has asked the Chinese side to take the lead in developing the project.

The Nepali portion of the power line will stretch from Galchhi in Dhading district to Rasuwagadhi on the border with China in the north, according to the NEA. The state-owned power utility has already finalised the alignment of the power line.

According to the NEA, the Chinese side is very keen on executing the project and has prioritised it. SGCC officials visited Nepal in early 2017 to hold talks with the Ministry of Energy Water Resources and Irrigation and the NEA to build a power line linking Rasuwagadhi and Kerung.

During the meeting, NEA Managing Director Kulman Ghising asked the Chinese delegation to extend the proposed transmission line further south up to Galchhi so that it could be linked with the Nepal-India cross-border transmission line proposed to be built in Rupandehi district. As the transmission line is necessary to supply electricity to the railway service which China plans to build up to Kathmandu, the northern neighbour is very eager to develop it.

China has already erected a high voltage transmission line up to Shigatse, and if the Nepal government shows adequate commitment, they have agreed to extend it to Kerung within one and a half years, and ultimately connect it with the power line in Nepal, according to the NEA.

Published: 22-08-2018 08:35

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