INDIA PROPOSES NEPAL FOR POWER TARIFF HIKE

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    India has proposed Nepal for increasing per unit electricity charge on the supply of electricity from southern neighbour to Nepal through Dhalkebar-Muzaffarpur and Tanakpur—Mahendranagar transmission lines,  said Nepali officials participating in a bilateral talk.

    Nepal is currently importing 80MW of electricity at IRs 3.44 per unit of electricity through the newly constructed Muzaffarpur-Dhalkebar transmission line from NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam.

    Likewise, PTC India, the state owned power trading company has been supplying 20 to 35 MW of power to Nepal since 2008 during dry season through 132 kV Tanakpur—Mahendranagar transmission line at IRs 6 per unit.

    During the energy secretary level meeting held on Tuesday in New Delhi, India side proposed increasing per unit charge of electricity supplied through these cross-border transmission lines, said a Nepali official.

    In response to India’s demand, Nepal agreed to discuss about the issue in a separate meeting between officials of Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) and respective power trading authorities of India, Mukesh Kafle, managing director of NEA, said.

    During the meeting, both the sides agreed to extend the deadline of the cross-border power trade agreement under which Nepal is importing 80 MW from Muzaffarpur-Dhalkebar. The deadline of agreement which expires in June end, will be extended to December 2016.

    Kafle said Nepali side proposed for open access to power trading between two countries whereby companies of both the countries can trade power between themselves. “India was positive on the issue,” he said. The meeting also agreed, in principle, over the cross-border transmission line master plan under which cross-border transmission lines will be constructed at 11 border points including the existing ones.

    Similarly, the meeting discussed about the power evacuation issues of export-based hydropower projects like 900MW Arun-III and 900MW Upper Karnali hydropower projects. Developers of both the projects are planning to export the electricity generated from the projects to India after the completion.

    Meanwhile, during a joint secretary-level meeting of the Joint Steering Committee (JSC) in New Delhi held on Monday, the Indian side accepted the request from the Nepali side to export more electricity to Nepal. However, India stressed on the need to construct a sub-stations to fully utilize Dhalkebar-Muzaffarpur transmission line.

    Although, Nepal is currently importing 80MW of electricity through the Muzaffarpur-Dhalkebar transmission line, it plans to increase the import to 600MW through the transmission line that was jointly inaugurated by Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi on February 21 during PM Oli’s visit to India.

    The Nepal Electricity Authority has already awarded a contract for the construction of a sub-station at Dhalkebar, but it is yet to be completed. During the meeting, the Indian side also inquired about preparations on the part of the Nepali side to import electricity from Nepal after 2019, according to another member of the Nepali delegation.

    Similarly, during a meeting of the Joint Working Group (JWC) in the Indian capital, the two sides held discussions on mechanisms needed to implement the Power Trade Agreement (PTA) between two countries.

    Source : The Kathmandu Post