Delay in upgradation of transmission line likely to worsen load-shedding

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    KATHMANDU, Nov 27

    wpid-powerlines.jpegAdditional Electricity will not be imported from India due to the delay by the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) to improve three kilometers of transmission line on the Indian side. It will affect NEA’s plan to reduce load-shedding.

    The work has been stalled after NEA has started initiative for waiver of customs duty, on wires and equipment that has to be installed, worth around Rs 6 million with the Indian Embassy in Nepal without even starting work. NEA officials, themselves, concede that there is no chance of immediately getting customs waiver despite starting the initiative. The Indian Ministry of External Affairs has already given permission for expanding the capacity of transmission line. NEA plans to import additional electricity from different points including the Kataiya-Kushaha from January. “We have urged the Indian Embassy for customs waiver as upgrading the transmission line does not take much time. But it does not look possible immediately as many processes have to be completed in India for that,” an NEA official said. He revealed that the embassy officials, during a discussion about customs waiver on Wednesday, provided assurances for taking an initiative for that. He said the embassy has again called for additional discussion on Monday.

    NEA aims to import over 120 MW from Kataiya-Kushaha transmission line after upgrading it. It has completed upgradation of 12-kilomter stretch on the Nepali side. Nepal is currently importing 75 MW from this transmission line. NEA plans to import 240 MW of electricity from India by bringing 120 MW from the 132 KV Kataiya-Kushaha line after upgrading it, and the rest from other points. NEA and the North Bihar State Electricity Company Limited have already signed purchase agreement for additional import of electricity. Up to 170 MW of electricity was imported from India to reduce load-shedding last year. NEA plans to restrict load-shedding to 12 hours a day by importing another 70 MW this year. NEA had enforced up to 14 hours of power cuts a day last winter.

    A minimum of 50-80 MW is being procured as per the electricity sharing agreement, and the rest at commercial rates. NEA has been procuring electricity from Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and the Power Trading Corporation (PTC) of India Limited. The demand of electricity will rise up to 1,200 MW this winter from the current 1,060 MW. NEA is currently imposing load-shedding of up to six hours a day due to shortage of 350 MW in the transmission system. NEA plans to import 70 MW of additional electricity from India, and supply another 40 MW by operating the multi-fuel plants in Biratnagar and Hetauda. Load-shedding is projected to rise up to 18 hours a day if additional electricity cannot be imported from India, targeted quantity cannot be generated from the multi-fuel plants, and the Kulekhani reservoir were not to be filled. The Kulekhani reservoir has been filled this year.

    Demand of electricity rises by 80 MW every year. While the demand of electricity rises due to the cold weather during the winter, generation falls by up to 25 percent as all the projects except Kulekhani are run of the river types.

    Source : Karobar Daily