KATHMANDU, Nov 15 : Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Norwegian government have signed an agreement to co-finance the South Asia Sub-regional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Power Expansion Project which will support development of transmission line proejcts to overcome Nepal´s power supply barriers.
ADB will administer a grant of US$ 360 million from the Government of Norway for the implementation of the SASEC Power System Expansion Project, according to a press statement issued by ADB. “The main objective of the project is to increase electricity access and help overcome power shortage in Nepal. In addition, the project aims to export surplus power to neighboring India by strengthening and increasing the power transmission capacity and network in the country,” the statement added.
This is by far the largest single project support by the Norwegian Government to Nepal´s energy sector. “This is in line with the Norwegian development policy on energy,” Norwegian Ambassador to Nepal Kjell Tormod Pettersen said during the signing of co-financing agreement with ADB. “There is also a clear focus on immediate poverty reduction in the project as it supports the extension of electricity distribution line to more than 70,000 households in the transmission corridor.”
The grant from Norway will complement a $180 million loan from ADB´s concessional loan of $120 million from the European Investment Bank; and a $11.2 million grant from the ADB administered Strategic Climate Fund. The project aims at increasing the mini-grid based renewable energy systems in off-grid areas and improving the management capacity of Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) and Alternative Energy Promotion Centre (AEPC).
Under the power transmission and distribution capacity development component, approximately 45 kilometers of 400 kV transmission line, 192 kilometers of 220 kV transmission lines along Kali Gandaki Corridors and Marsyangdi-Kathmandu route will be constructed.