KATHMANDU, Nov 8
The Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) will buy up to 170 MW from the Power Trading Corporation (PTC) of India taking total import to 260 MW to limit load-shedding to 12 hours a day during the winter season. NEA and PTC officials signed agreement to that regard in New Delhi on Wednesday and the PTC will provide additional energy from the start of December. Nepal had imported up to 200 MW from India last year.
The NEA will procure at commercial rate of Rs 7.92 (IRs 4.95) per unit. Nepal has also been procuring from India at a cheaper rate as per electricity exchange agreement between the two countries. The PTC will provide 125 MW round the clock and the rest 45 MW when asked by the NEA as per the agreement. The NEA will also procure electricity this year from the North Bihar Power Distribution Company Limited, Uttar Pradesh Electricity Board and Uttarakhanda Electricity Board. It had procured electricity worth Rs 8.25 billion from India in the last fiscal year to minimize load-shedding. The government has been offsetting the losses incurred while buying electricity from India.
NEA Managing Director Mukesh Raj Kafle says up to 237 MW can be imported with the current transmission system and adds up to 260 MW can be brought with repair and transmission of the transmission lines. India has not provided electricity committed as per agreements in the past. The NEA will import electricity from 13 points this year. It is currently importing from 10 points including Kataiya, Jaleshwore, Raxaul Mahanagar and Tananakpur. Another 125 MW will be imported from Kataiya-Kushaha 132 KV Transmission line that has now been completed.
Contribution of imported electricity to the total supply of Nepal has increased to 23 percent by the last year. This will rise further this year. Dependence on India for electricity has been increasing in the past few years in lack of generation as per demand. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced to double it to 400 MW to address energy crisis in Nepal. Kafle claims that load-shedding will not rise beyond 12 hours a day this year as the reservoir of Kulekhani has been filled completely and more electricity is being imported from India. “Load-shedding will not rise beyond 12 hours a day this year. There is transmission line to import that quantity of electricity from India,” he claims.
Load-shedding is currently less in the eastern and western regions, and more in the central part of the country. There is currently daily load-shedding of around seven hours due to deficit of 400 MW in the distribution system. The NEA has projected peak demand of electricity this year to rise to 1426 MW. It says demand has been rising by around 80 MW a year. The NEA has already signed agreement to import up to 150 MW of electricity from PTC at commercial rate for 25 years.
The institutional plan prepared by the NEA states that there will be deficit of just 486 MW in 2015/16, 533 MW in 2016/17, and 88 MW in 2017/18. It says load-shedding will gradually fall after that. The current installed capacity of the distribution system is 770 MW including thermal plants.
Source : Karobar Daily