NEA warns factories to install capacitor banks

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Jun 15, 2018-

The Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) warned factories operating without a capacitor bank that their electricity supply could be cut off. The state-owned power utility decided to get tough after finding out that a majority of the factories in the eastern Tarai had not installed capacitor banks as required.

A capacitor bank is a group of multiple capacitors connected in series which is used to correct voltage fluctuations. The device ensures constant voltage power supply to electrical equipment thereby reducing chances of power cuts due to voltage fluctuations. As per the NEA’s Electricity Distribution Bylaws 2013, any customer operating electrical equipment of 5 horsepower or higher capacity is required to install a capacitor bank on their premises.

As a majority of the factories in the Eastern Tarai region have not installed capacitor banks, other NEA customers in the area, both households and industries, are facing abrupt power cuts due to tripping of the circuit breaker. When this happens, the general public blames the NEA for imposing power cuts.

After receiving several complaints from the public, the NEA management inspected various factories in the Eastern Tarai and discovered that many factories had not installed capacitor banks. Among the 140 factories inspected by the NEA, only 43 had installed capacitor banks.

In order to find out the nationwide status of the use of capacitor banks, the NEA sent a circular to all its distribution offices instructing them to inspect the factories under their distribution network.

After countrywide details are received, the power utility is planning to provide some time to the factories to install capacitor banks. Those failing to install such devices within the timeframe will face power cuts, according to the NEA.    

“We have found that large factories owned by reputed business persons have not complied with the law and haven’t installed capacitor banks. This affected our distribution network mainly in the Tarai, but we are accused of imposing power cuts by the general public,” said Kulman Ghising, managing director of the NEA.

“Now, we will give some time to the industries to install the device, and if they do not comply within the given time, their electricity supply will be disconnected.”

Due to rising temperatures in the Tarai region, there is maximum use of air conditioners, coolers and fans, pushing up demand for electricity besides causing voltage fluctuations. The power utility is struggling to supply regular power in cities like Biratnagar, Butwal, Nepalgunj, Dhangadhi and Mahendranagar, among others.

Apart from forcing industries to install capacitor banks at their facilities, the power utility is improving its distribution system. It has started the construction of various substations and power lines throughout the region. It is planning to replace 11 and 33 kV power lines and substations with 132 kV transmission lines and substations to improve electricity distribution.

Published: 15-06-2018 08:06

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