KATHMANDU, July 15
The Energy Ministry has been surprised after the government in the budget announced addition of 600 MW of electricity to raise installed capacity to 1418 MW in the upcoming fiscal year.
The Appendix 18 of the budget book mentions about addition of 600 MW in the upcoming fiscal year 2072/73 but it does not mention which projects will be completed for addition of that. No project apart from 30 MW Chameliya are expected to be completed in the upcoming fiscal year, and even that may not be completed in the year if the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) does not resolve the problems soon. The budget book states that the current installed capacity is 818 MW.
“There is no chance of generation of additional 600 MW in the upcoming fiscal year,” Energy Secretary Rajendra Kishore Chhetri expressed surprise. “I don’t know how this figure came. I will ask the Finance Ministry about that. We have not provided such data,” he added. He revealed that Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Project, that was expected to be completed by July, 2016, will be delayed by a year due to the earthquake.
The government aims to limit load-shedding to eight hours a day during the winter by adding 600 MW. Demand has increased to 1291 MW in the current year. There is currently load-shedding of up to seven hours a day due to fall in supply by around 80 MW after closure of 10 projects including 45 MW Upper Bhotekoshi and 10 MW Sunkoshi following the earthquake.
The government similarly has targeted to raise per capita electricity consumption to 270 units a year in the upcoming year from the current 130 units. It aims to expand transmission line to 2740 kilometers by completing another 100 kilometers, and limit leakage to 24.7 percent by reducing it by 1.5 percentage points. It has allocated a budget of Rs 51.21 billion including Rs 33 billion for electricity generation and distribution, Rs 12.73 billion for expansion of transmission lines, and Rs 5.49 billion for alternative energy. A total of Rs 370 million has been allocated for detailed project report (DPR) for the proposed 410 MW Nalsingh Gad reservoir project.
The government has also continued the subsidy provided for the private sector for development of hydropower projects. The government has adopted a policy of moving projects forward through Remittance Hydro by forming capital by using remittance in productive sector. It aims to sign project development agreement (PDA) with promoters of 660 MW Tamakoshi III and 600 MW Upper Marsyangdi II with whom PDA dialogue is currently being held.
Transmission lines will be constructed through the National Transmission Grid Company in build-own-transfer (BOT) model with participation of the private sector. National Electricity Trading Company will be established for trading of electricity domestically and internationally.
There will not be dearth of budget for Budhi Gandaki: Finance Minister
Finance Minister Dr Ram Sharan Mahat has assured that there will not be lack of budget for land acquisition for the proposed 1200 MW Budhi Gandaki reservoir project. Revealing that the government has allocated Rs 3.37 billion for land acquisition and distribution of compensation for the national pride project, he added that additional budget will be provided if the amount were to be insufficient.
The Budhi Gandaki Hydropower Project Development Committee had demanded Rs 29 billion, half of the Rs 58 billion deemed necessary for land acquisition and distribution of compensation, in the upcoming fiscal year.
Source : Karobar Daily