KATHMANDU, July 21:
Though the government has earmarked hefty amount of money for construction of transmission lines, private power producers have expressed doubts over utilization of the budget given the unenergetic working style of Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) and problems in land acquisition among others.
Organizing a press meet to air its view on the recently announced budget here on Sunday, officials of Independent Power Producers´ Association Nepal (IPPAN) demanded that the government focus on timely construction of transmission lines focusing on undergoing projects.
The government has allocated Rs 30 billion, including Rs 13.5 billion for transmission lines, for various hydropower projects in this fiscal year.
“Our main concern is that power generated by hydropower projects should not go to waste in the absence of transmission lines,” IPPAN President Subarna Das Shrestha said. “More than half of the energy generated by Sipring Khola (10 MW) of Dolakha is being wasted in the absence of transmission line to connect the energy generated by it to the national grid.”
According to Shrestha, under construction projects like Mai Khola (22 MW) and Mai Cascade (7 MW) in Ilam, which are in the last leg of construction process, might meet the fate of Sipring Khola as the Kabeli corridor transmission line is limited to papers for the past five years.
“Lack of sufficient transmission lines is discouraging us from putting more money in hydropower projects. We cannot pay high interest rates without selling energy to NEA,” Shrestha. He also suggested to the government to change the work modality on transmission lines.
“Land acquisition for transmission lines should be complete before signing contract agreement with hydro projects,” added Shrestha.
According to IPPAN, around seven hydropower projects with combined capacity of 46 MW developed by the private sector are expected to start generation this year.
Speaking on the occasion, Moti Lal Dugar, member of IPPAN, said the government was not listening to the demands of the private power developers. “We are halfway into our project and in no position to retreat.
But the government is not listening to our concerns,” he said, adding, “And investment costs are soaring.”
He also said investment environment is not favorable for the private sector and that the budget has ignored independent power producers.
Source : Republica
Copy of Press Statement of IPPAN – Download it 2070 71