Cabinet clears way for DPR of Nepal-China power line

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    Jun 16, 2018-The Cabinet on Thursday approved the Chinese government’s proposal to prepare a joint detailed project report (DPR) for the first ever Nepal-China cross-border transmission line. The approval clears the way for the two countries to sign an accord to prepare the report during Prime Minister KP Oli’s visit to China next week.

    State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC), the Chinese government appointed focal institution for the development of the trans-Himalayan power line, sent a request last May that the two countries should work together to prepare the DPR.

    The Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), the focal institution appointed by the Nepal government, reviewed SGCC’s proposal and sent it on to the Ministry of Energy Water Resources and Irrigation (MoEWRI) which forwarded it to the Cabinet for its approval.

    After the pact is signed, a joint technical committee comprising representatives of the two countries will be formed to prepare the DPR. It will hire a consultant to conduct the study and prepare a report. However, the Chinese side will perform the lead role in the preparation of the DPR as requested by the NEA, the state-owned power utility.

    As only 80 km out of the estimated 800-km length of the transmission lies within Nepali territory, it is logical that the Chinese side take the lead in developing the project, according to the NEA. The transmission line will extend from Galchhi, Nepal to Shigatse, China.

    The Nepali portion of the power line will stretch from Galchhi in Dhading district to Rasuwagadhi on the border with China in the north, according to the NEA. The NEA has already finalised the alignment of the power line.

    According to the NEA, the Chinese side is very keen on executing the project and has prioritised it. SGCC officials visited Nepal in early 2017 to hold talks with the MoEWRI 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 it could be linked with the Nepal-India cross-border transmission line proposed to be built in Rupandehi district.

    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 eager in 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 a half years, and ultimately connect it with the power line in Nepal, according to the NEA.

    Source : The Kathmandu post