Nepal and India have agreed to build the proposed Butwal-Gorakhpur cross-border transmission line. A meeting of the energy secretaries of the two countries held in New Delhi recently decided to implement the project.

    A detailed project report (DPR) will be prepared before starting the construction of the 400 kVA power line. Nepal and India will separately build the portion of the power line that lies within their respective territories.

    Nepal presently imports electricity from India through two transmission lines.

    It receives 80 MW through the Muzaffarpur-Dhalkebar transmission line and 25 to 35 MW through the Tanakpur-Mahendranagar transmission line.

    According to Energy Ministry officials, the Butwal-Gorakhpur is being installed as a backup to ensure uninterrupted power supply in case something happens to the Muzaffarpur-Dhalkebar transmission line. “If we have another cross-border transmission line, the supply will be more reliable. Also, the distribution of power throughout the country will be easier,” said Dinesh Kumar Ghimire, joint secretary of the ministry.

    The ministry is giving high priority to the new transmission line as it can distribute power efficiently to high energy consuming cities like Bhairahawa, Butwal, Pokhara and Narayanghat which are within easy reach.

    Moreover, the transmission line will be useful to evacuate surplus energy produced in the Budhi Gandaki and Marshyangdi corridors when various hydro projects under construction here come online. The two countries have agreed to complete the DPR of the project by the end of November. “The DPR of the transmission line will be carried out by a joint technical team representing the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) and Power Grid Corporation of India,” Ghimire said.

    Once the DPR is completed, we will know how much the scheme will cost and how long its construction will take, he said.

    The meeting also approved in principle the cross-border transmission line master plan. As per the scheme, cross-border transmission lines will be constructed at 11 points.

    Nepal plans to import 1,000 MW of electricity from India by 2022 and export around 2,000 MW to India after 2022 through different cross-border transmission lines.

    Officials also discussed providing open access to both countries regarding the import and export of electricity.

    Source : The Kathmandu Post