Development Partners Commit to Boosting Aid in Nepal’s Energy Sector

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The Nepal Electricity Authority has requested Nepal’s international development partners to increase assistance in the energy sector.

The NEA has requested Switzerland, the United Kingdom, America, the European Union, World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, which have been providing support to Nepal, to increase their assistance stating that large investments are needed for the expansion and improvement of Nepal’s electricity, production, transmission and distribution.

A team, including Swiss Ambassador Danielle Meuwly, World Bank Country Director for Nepal, the Maldives and Sri Lanka Faris Hadad Zervos, ADB Country Director for Nepal Arnaud Cauchois and representatives of development partners, including European Union, USAID and NEA visited 220 kV New Butwal Substation in Sunwal Municipality-13 of Nawalparasi (Bardghat Susta West) on Thursday.

The New Butwal substation has been constructed under the Kaligandaki Corridor 220 kV transmission line project with the investment of the government of Nepal and NEA and a concessional loan of the ADB.

The Authority has requested the team that went on the monitoring visit to increase assistance in the energy sector, according to the NEA.

Appreciating the achievements in Nepal’s energy sector, the team of development partners pledged to increase investment in the hydropower sector of Nepal, said the NEA.

While giving information about the hydropower generation, transmission and distribution situation in Nepal and electricity trade with India and Bangladesh, Managing Director of NEA Kul Man Ghising said that more than USD 12 to 13 billion investment was needed in the next five to six years.

“To increase electricity production and expand and strengthen the system, in the next five-six years, we need more than USD 6 billion for electricity generation, USD 5 billion for transmission and USD 2 billion for distribution,” he said.

“Our priority is to increase the consumption of electricity within the country, only the surplus electricity will be sold to the neighbouring countries.

For this, a large investment is required for the expansion of the infrastructure. I request the development partners to increase the investment,” said Ghising.

World Bank’s country director for Nepal, the Maldives and Sri Lanka Faris Hadad-Zervos said that the matter of investing in the 1,063 megawatt Upper Arun hydropower project under the leadership of the bank had reached its final stage.

Faris emphasised that special attention should be paid to the implementation of environmental and social protection measures during the implementation of the project.

ADB Country Director for Nepal, Arnaud Cauchois said that they have been partnering in Nepal’s energy sector for the past 50 years and said that they were working to manage the finances of the 635 MW Dudh Koshi reservoir hydroelectric project under the leadership of the bank by 2024.

The Kaligandaki Corridor 220 kV double circuit transmission line and three substations have been constructed to integrate the power of the hydropower projects to be built in Kaligandaki and its tributaries and integrate it into the national grid.

The transmission line can carry about 2,000 megawatts of electricity.

The Kaligandaki Corridor Transmission Line Project has been constructed with the investment of the government of Nepal and the Authority and concessional loans received from the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Power System Expansion Project.

New Butwal-Gorakhpur 400 kV second cross-border transmission line is also being constructed for electricity trade with India.

The surplus electricity of the country will be exported to India through the same transmission line.