Increasing domestic power consumption is a top priority: Energy Minister Basnet

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Kathmandu, 3 April 2023. The newly appointed Minister of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation, Shakti Bahadur Basnet, has stated that increasing the capacity to consume electricity produced in the country is his main priority.
In the congratulation, greetings and welcome program held by the Nepal Electricity Authority on Monday, Minister Basnet said that the service expansion, transmission and distribution system infrastructure will be expanded by strengthening and expanding the infrastructure of the transmission and distribution system to expand the consumption capacity. We should increase the internal consumption capacity of electricity and manage the excess electricity, is it not possible to waste the excess electricity consumed within the country? It should be exported,” Minister Basnet said. “There will be necessary coordination with the Ministry of Finance and other agencies to raise the necessary investment for infrastructure expansion.”
Minister Basnet, who is also the former Forest Minister, stated that he is aware of the problems of forest area use and tree felling in the construction of hydropower and transmission line projects, and said that he will proactively prevent delays in the construction of projects due to forest and security.
He said that among the public institutions, the Authority has established positive standards in the country. Minister Basnet, who is also the chairman of the authority’s board of directors, directed the employees to be accountable and to move forward by opening up new possibilities to play an additional role in enhancing the established positive standards.
In the program, Secretary of the Ministry of Energy, Resources and Irrigation Dinesh Kumar Ghimire said that in order to increase electricity consumption internally, emphasis should be placed on the improvement and expansion of transmission and distribution system structures, the construction of strategic large reservoir hydropower projects and the expansion of electricity services. Kulman Ghising, managing director of the authority, while presenting a detailed description of the organization, said that power management during the rainy season is the main challenge at present.
It is seen that more than eight and a half billion rupees of investment is needed to implement the plans for the next five years, including the projects under construction for power generation, transmission and distribution, to increase consumption within the country and to export more electricity, but there is a huge investment gap from the government. There is a situation that needs to be fulfilled by the government, authorities and donor agencies, for this, facilitation and coordination are necessary,” Ghising said.
He said that during this year’s rainy season, there is a need to export 1,000 to 1,200 megawatts of electricity, which is more than domestically consumed. Mentioning that the energy sector has got an experienced minister, Ghising expressed his belief that it will be facilitated in solving the problems of the forest sector, peace and security arrangements, etc.
In the program, the deputy executive director of the authority, Manoj Silwal, and the president of the active trade union drew the minister’s attention to issues such as adequate budget for electrification, security arrangements for the employees working in power leakage control.