Ghising off to Delhi to negotiate prices

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    Aug 8, 2017-

    A Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) delegation led by Managing Director Kulman Ghising has left for New Delhi to participate in a meeting of the Nepal-India Power Exchange Committee scheduled for Tuesday. The committee is meeting for the second time in six years.

    The NEA team will hold talks with officials of the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) of India on a number of issues related to cross-border electricity trade like tariff rate, quantity and modality.

    The major item on the NEA’s agenda, according to Ghising, is requesting the CEA to reduce the price of electricity imported from various states of India. “We will ask our Indian counterpart to decrease the per unit price of electricity imported from Indian states,” said Ghising.

    “However, as they have already increased the price, it will be difficult to persuade them to reduce it. If we cannot get them to reduce the price, we will at least convince them not to increase it for the next few years.”

    Currently, Nepal imports around 300 MW of electricity from India through various cross-border transmission lines. Around 50 percent of the total imports are done through the Dhalkebar-Muzaffarpur and Tanakpur-Mahendranagar power lines.

    The energy imported through these lines cost IRs3.60 per unit while purchases made through other cross-border lines from different Indian state-owned authorities cost IRs5.62 to IRs6.08 per unit.

    The first meeting of the Nepal-India Power Exchange Committee in 2011 had fixed the tariff at less than IRs4 per unit. It was agreed to review prices at subsequent meetings that would be held annually. As no meetings have been held since then, the tariff rate grew by 5 percent every year for six consecutive years as decided by the first meeting.

    Although committee meetings are required to be held annually, they have not happened because of India’s unwillingness. The NEA has long been pressing India for meetings to be held as it wants to review the charge for electricity purchased from different state governments in India.

    The CEA, according to an NEA source, became ready to hold the meeting after Indian Power Minister Piyush Goyal urged the Indian state-owned authority to hold it before his probable visit to Nepal later in August. Nepal’s Ambassador to India Deep Kumar Upadhyay had also been lobbying Indian political leaders and government officials including Minister Goyal to hold the meeting.

    Source: The Kathmandu Post