Electricity worth Rs 8 b imported from India

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    KATHMANDU, Aug 7

    nepal-flag-pylonNepal imported electricity worth Rs 8.25 billion from India to minimize load-shedding in the fiscal year 2070/71. This is almost Rs 2 billion more than that imported in the preceding fiscal year.

    Twenty percent of domestic demand was fulfilled by electricity imported from India in the last fiscal year. It was 17.44 percent in the preceding year. The Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) imported electricity worth Rs 16.50 billion from independent power producers and India in 2070/71. NEA imported 1.07 billion units, 277.48 million units more than 792.52 million of the preceding year, of electricity from North Bihar Power Distribution Company Limited, Power Trading Corporation (PTC) Limited, Uttar Pradesh Electricity Board and Uttarakhanda Electricity Board of India in the last fiscal year. NEA has been procuring 50 MW of electricity at a cheap rate and the rest 150 MW at commercial rate from India as per the electricity exchange agreement.

    Acting Deputy Executive Director of the Finance Directorate of NEA Lekh Nath Koirala stated that import of electricity to reduce load-shedding has been rising by the year and import will rise further in the current fiscal year due to the increase in demand. “NEA is suffering a loss of billions of rupees as it has to sell electricity procured at a higher rate at a lower price. There is a loss of Rs 1.70 (Rs 7.73-Rs 6.03) per unit including leakage and cost price in import of electricity from India,” he revealed. NEA suffered a loss of Rs 1.82 billion from import of electricity from India last year, according to him. Accumulated loss of NEA, that suffered a loss of Rs 5 billion in the last fiscal year, has now reached Rs 18 billion. There is a leakage of over 25 percent in NEA’s transmission system. “We are preparing to import a huge amount of electricity from India even this year to check load-shedding. We have to depend on Indian electricity in lack of construction of big projects in the country and NEA is accumulating loss as the imported electricity has to be sold at a cheaper rate,” he rued. He claimed NEA’s loss will rise further in the current year if tariff is not raised.

    He revealed that NEA, currently importing 150 MW, is preparing to import additional electricity from India as the national grid is short by 67 MW after seven projects have been shut down due to blockage of Bhotekoshi river following a landslide in Jure of Sindhupalchowk last week. NEA has currently increased load-shedding by one and half hours a day. NEA is also set to import more electricity from November to control load-shedding during the upcoming dry season. NEA has projected daily load-shedding of 14 hours in the upcoming dry season.

    NEA has already signed agreement with PTC to import up to 150 MW at commercial rate for the next 25 years to address the rising load-shedding but that electricity has not been imported as the necessary transmission lines have not been constructed. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his Nepal visit, has already expressed commitment to provide up to 400 MW of electricity. His assurance shows that dependence on India for electricity is set to rise further. The country spent around Rs 30 billion in import of diesel, inverter batteries and other equipment due to load-shedding in the last year.

    Electricity import from India

    Year Units
    2003 186.68 million
    2004 241.39 million
    2005 266.23 million
    2006 328.83 million
    2007 425.22 million
    2008 356.46 million
    2009 638.68 million
    2010 690.40 million
    2011 746.07 million
    2012 792.52 million
    2013 1.07 billion

    Source : Karobar Daily