Nineteen hydropower projects can be completed and another 179 MW added to the national grid within a year if the government were to play a facilitatory role. The Energy Ministry has revealed that after Prime Minister (PM) KP Sharma Oli that load-shedding would be ended within a year.

    Stating that construction has been affected due to fuel crisis following the Indian blockade, the ministry has urged the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers (OPMCM) to facilitate construction of projects. PM Oli called officials from the ministry and held discussions about resolving problems in the energy sector.

    The ministry informed that Chameliya and Kulekhani, being constructed by the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), Upper Marsyangdi A, Upper Modi, Hewakhola A, Thapakhola and others can be completed within a year. Seventeen of these 19 run of the river projects are being developed by the private sector.

    Joint Secretary at the ministry Dr Sanjay Sharma said these 19 projects can be completed within a year with proper facilitation as more than 70 percent of work in these projects has been completed. He added that the OPMCM has been informed about the projects that can be completed within a year. “We are trying to minimize load-shedding. These projects can be completed soon if the bodies concerned were to cooperate and play a facilitatory role,” he stated.

    He revealed that discussions are also being held about alternative sources of energy for implementation of the PM’s instructions to work in a way to end load-shedding within a year. He said these projects can be completed within a year if there were no problem for fuel and transmission line. The government, meanwhile, has expressed commitment to limit load-shedding to eight hours a day in the current fiscal year even as the NEA has already prepared a report projecting daily load-shedding of seven-13 hours.

    The NEA had limited load-shedding to 12 hours a day during the last year. It aims to import 337 MW from India this year by bringing an additional 100 MW. But there will still be deficit of 600 MW in the system this year, as demand will rise to 1396 MW while supply will reach just 796 MW including that imported from India.

    The NEA plans to bring additional 80 MW completing the 400 KV Dhalkebar-Mujaffarpur Transmission Line and the rest by constructing other smaller transmission lines. But construction of transmission lines has also been affected due to the strike in tarai.

    Kulekhani reservoir unfilled

    The NEA may face additional difficulty to manage load-shedding as the reservoir of Kulekhani Project has not been filled completely due to lack of adequate rainfall. The NEA says load-shedding can be limited only if the Kulekahni reservoir were filled. The installed capacity of Kulekhani I and II is 92 MW. It has been filled up to 1525 meters now and five meters remain unfilled.

    Chief of the System Operation Department of NEA Bhuwan Kumar Chhetri said there is slim chance of the reservoir being filled completely as the monsoon season has ended. “The NEA will face problems in demand management as a result,” he reasoned. The reservoir was filled completely last year due to heavy rainfall owing to Hudhud cyclone in India last October.

    Source : Karobar Daily