A milestone in electricity sector in country: PM

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    Feb 3, 2017- Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal on Thursday inaugurated the Khimti-Dhalkebar Transmission Line, the first 220kV transmission line in the country.

    The formal inauguration of the 75km transmission line in Khimti of Dolakha district means electricity imported from India through the Muzaffarpur-Dhalkebar cross-border transmission line can be directly linked to Kathmandu Valley where energy demand is highest in the country. This will also help evacuate electricity from Tamakoshi-Bhotekoshi corridor to the eastern region. The formal operationalisation of the transmission line also holds strategic importance for the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA).

    Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, PM Dahal described the completion of the transmission line as one of the milestones in the country’s power sector.

    This transmission line is crucial for the state-owned power utility as it will now be easier to manage energy produced from the Khimti and Bhote Koshi corridor. Earlier energy produced at the Khimti and Bhotekoshi corridor used to be evacuated to Biratnagar via Kathmandu. Electricity can now be directly evacuated to Dhalkebar.

    “This will minimise the electricity loss of around 10MW. It will also resolve the voltage fluctuation problem in Tarai region” said NEA Managing Director Kulman Ghising. According to Ghising, it will not only help evacuate electricity produced by the hydropower projects in the Tamakoshi corridor, but also facilitate energy export to India through the Muzaffarpur-Dhalkebar cross-border transmission line.

    The NEA had started test transmission 19 days ago.

    Independent Power Producers (IPPs) have welcomed the development, saying the project holds strategic importance in integrating electricity produced by different projects into the national grid. “However, the transmission line should be upgraded soon to ‘double circuit’ from the existing ‘single circuit’ so that maximum amount of electricity can be transmitted,” said Sailendra Guragain, president of Independent Power Producers’ Association Nepal. Guragain, however, criticised the government for taking an exceptionally long time to complete the transmission line. It took around 17 years, starting from the survey, to complete the project.

    The actual construction of the project started in 2003 and was supposed to be completed in 2009, but the deadline was extended five times.

    The project was delayed due to various reasons, including disputes over compensation for land acquired for the project.

    The construction of the project, however, made rapid progress after the government deployed security personnel around six months ago to prevent locals of Sindhuli and Ramechhap from obstructing works over land compensation issue.

    The development cost of the transmission line built with the financial aid from the World Bank was Rs 1.95 billion.

    Power points

    –    The Khimti-Dhalkebar Transmission Line holds strategic importance to NEA
    –    This is the first 220kV capacity transmission line in the country
    –    Electricity imported from India through Muzaffarpur-Dhalkebar cross-border                  transmission line can make way to Kathmandu Valley
    –    Electricity from Tamakoshi-Bhotekoshi corridor can be directly evacuated to the              eastern part of the country
    –    Electricity loss reduction of around 10MW expected

    Source: The Kathmandu Post