KATHMANDU, JAN 29: An additional 25 MW of electricity will be added to the national grid through the Muzaffarpur-Dhalkebar cross-border transmission line from coming Wednesday (February 1). Following an agreement with India for electricity import, Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) had decided to use the full capacity of the Muzaffarpur-Dhalkebar transmission line and import an additional 40 MW of electricity from February 1. However, as technical problems would arise in doing so, the NEA decided to import only 25 MW for the time being.
Earlier, NEA had signed an agreement with NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam of India, a National Thermal Power Corporation, to purchase an additional 80 MW of electricity via the Muzaffarpur-Dhalkebar cross-border transmission line. With the agreement, Nepal had decided to import a total of 80 MW of electricity from India – 40 MW from December 31, 2016 and the remaining 40 MW from February 1 this year.
However, only 25 MW of electricity will be supplied to the transmission line from Wednesday as importing the remaining 40 MW by utilizing the full capacity of the transmission line would cause fluctuation in power supply, said NEA Managing Director Kulman Ghishing. “Though we will be importing 15 MW less than the agreed 40 MW, there will be no load-shedding,” he said, adding that more electricity could be imported from India, if needed, once the construction of the Raxaual-Parwanipur and Kasaha-Kataiya transmission lines is completed.
At present, a total of 355 MW of electricity is being imported from India. However, with the import of an additional 25 MW, the total electricity imported from India from Wednesday will be 380 MW. Nepal imported a total of 347 MW of electricity from India last year.
Though total electricity generation in the country has declined due to the decreased water level in rivers, NEA thinks electricity supply is still manageable as the demand has not risen. At present, there is a demand-supply gap of 399 MW of electricity in the system but still there is virtually no load-shedding in the country. Ghising told Republica Online that though the supply of electricity will be less than the demand especially in the months of January, February, March and April, there will be no load-shedding. “From May onwards, the country will be generating nearly 800 MW of electricity on its own,” Ghising said, “While the Kathmandu Valley has already become free from load-shedding, there is two hours of load-shedding in Terai and four hours of load-shedding in industries at present.”
According to NEA, national electricity demand at present is 1,265 MW. Currently, NEA projects are generating 334 MW while private sector projects are generating 175 MW. A total of 866 MW is being supplied at present, including the import from India.
Currently, the demand of electricity in the Kathmandu Valley in the peak hours is 320 MW. A total of 97 MW generated by five big projects has already been added to the national grid in the current fiscal year. Fifteen more projects will start generation in the current fiscal year, adding 142 MW of electricity to the national grid.
The government has planned to import up to 560 MW of electricity from India to end load-shedding.
Meanwhile, the 220 kv Khimti-Dhalkebar transmission line has been operationalized. This has resolved the low voltage problems in Birgunj and other Terai towns. As a result, Birgunj, too, will soon become load-shedding free after Kathmandu and Pokhara. Energy Minister Janardan Sharma has claimed that Birgunj will be free from load-shedding over the next 20 days.