Alignment of Nepal-China power line to be finalised

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    Mar 15, 2018-The Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) is ready to finalise the alignment of the first Nepal-China cross-border transmission line extending from Rasuwagadhi to Kerung. The state-owned power utility has temporarily selected a route that avoids Langtang National Park as much as possible.

    A preliminary feasibility report prepared by the NEA has identified three potential routes for the construction of the cross-border power line. Two of them intrude more than 10 km into the national park while the third one extends only 5 km inside the park.

    “The third route is also under consideration as we want to completely avoid the park while developing the power line,” said Komal Atreya, chief of the monitoring department of the NEA who has been appointed as the focal person to coordinate with the Chinese side. “After we confirm the best possible route among the three alternatives, we will sit down with Chinese officials to finalise the deal.”

    The Energy Ministry has submitted the preliminary feasibility report with the three possible routes to State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC), the Chinese government appointed focal institution for the development of the power line between China and Nepal. The 80-km transmission line, according to the report submitted to the Chinese side, will link Galchhi in Dhading district with Rasuwagadhi on the border with China in the north.

    Nepal has also sought financial assistance to build the transmission line which is estimated to cost Rs10 billion. According to the NEA, the Chinese side is very keen on developing this project and has prioritized it.

    SGCC officials visited Nepal in early 2017 to hold talks with the Energy Ministry and the NEA to build a 400 kV power line linking Rasuwagadhi and Kerung across the northern border. During the meeting, NEA Managing Director Kulman Ghising asked the Chinese delegation to extend the proposed transmission line further south up to Galchhi so that the power line could be linked to the Nepal-India cross-border transmission line proposed to be built in Rupandehi district. The SGCC officials were positive about Ghising’s proposal.

    As the transmission line is necessary to supply electricity to the railway service which China plans to build up to Kathmandu, the northern neighbour is very keen on developing it. China has already erected a high voltage transmission line up to Shigatse, and if the Nepal government shows adequate commitment, they have agreed to extend it to Kerung within one and half years, and ultimately connect it with the power line in Nepal, according to the NEA.