NEA assures regular supply despite shortfall

  • Electricity generation
  • Power output halves as water levels dip
- BIBEK SUBEDI, Kathmandu

Jan 3, 2017-

Hydroelectricity generation in the country has dipped by almost 50 percent, as water level in most of the river basins is falling due to the dry season.

The decline in electricity generation, however, will not lead to resumption of power cuts in Kathmandu Valley in January, the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has said.

The country’s electricity generation stands at 850 megawatt in the rainy season. However, the output now hovers around 450MW largely because of the dry winter, according to the state-owned power utility.

Electricity generation falls drastically during winter because most of the hydroelectric projects in the country are run-of-the-river type.

The only power plants with reservoir are Kulekhani I and II. These projects generate a total of 92MW power. But other projects in the country have seen up to 50 percent reduction in output.

“Electricity generation at the 144MW Kali Gandaki Hydropower Project, the country’s largest, has fallen 45 percent to 80MW,” said NEA Spokesperson Prabal Adhikari.

Generation at the 70MW Middle Marshyangdi Hydropower Project has come down to 40MW, while Marshyangdi Hydropower Project, which has the capacity to generate 69 megawatts, is churning out 45 MW power. Likewise, electricity generation at the 60MW Khimti Hydropower Project has gone down to 40MW. The water level will continue to decrease until March.

To bridge the gap, Nepal is currently importing 120MW electricity from the Dhalkebar-Muzaffarpur cross-border transmission line. The country plans to import additional 40MW of electricity from India through this line beginning March when upgradation works at the Dhalkebar substation will be completed.

The utility is also planning to import additional 50 megawatts via the Kataiya-Kushwaha transmission line. Currently, 120MW electricity is being imported through the facility.

The country’s peak electricity demand hovers around 1200MW. With imports of around 350MW from India and domestic output of around 450MW, the NEA has 800 megawatts to supply across the country.

Despite this shortfall, the NEA says there will be no power cuts in the Valley in January while load-shedding hours will not go up in other parts of the country.

The NEA has currently managed to eliminate power outages from the Valley and reduce power cuts in other parts of the country by denying power to energy-guzzling industries during the peak hours—5pm to 8pm.

Published: 03-01-2017 08:12

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