KATHMANDU, Nov 24
India has agreed to provide 240 MW of electricity to help the efforts by Nepal to reduce load-shedding during the winter. This will make it easier for the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) to limit power cuts to 12 hours a day.
NEA and the North Bihar State Electricity Company Limited have signed purchase agreement for additional import of electricity. Up to 170 MW of electricity was imported from India to reduce load-shedding last year. NEA plans to restrict load-shedding to 12 hours a day by importing another 70 MW this year. NEA had enforced up to 14 hours of power cuts a day last winter. Deputy Managing Director of the Project Monitoring and Information-Technology Directorate of NEA Sher Singh Bhat said the additional electricity will be imported from different points including the Kataiya-Kushaha from coming January. “India is ready to provide as much electricity as Nepal needs. But we have not been able to import in lack of increase in capacity of transmission lines,” he added. Another 40 MW will be imported from the 132 KV Kataiya-Kushaha transmission line after increasing its capacity and the rest from other points.
He revealed that NEA has agreed to procure electricity at Rs 8.64 (IRs 5.40) per unit. A minimum of 50-80 MW is procured as per the electricity sharing agreement, and the rest at commercial rates. NEA is currently importing up to 120 MW from India. NEA sells electricity at Rs 8.05 per unit on an average, while it also has to bear 25 percent of leakage and wheeling charge. NEA has been procuring electricity from Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and the Power Trading Corporation (PTC) of India Limited. “We are working to limit load-shedding during February and March. There will be load-shedding of up to 12 hours a day as there will be shortage of around 600 MW,” he reasoned. He claimed the demand of electricity will rise up to 1,200 MW by then from the current 1,060 MW. NEA is currently imposing load-shedding of up to six hours a day due to shortage of 350 MW in the transmission system.
NEA is preparing to replace the wire in around three kilometers of the Kataiya-Kushaha transmission line in the Indian side for import of additional electricity. The Indian Ministry of External Affairs has already given permission for expanding the capacity of transmission line. NEA has urged the Indian Embassy in Nepal for waiver of Rs 6 million in Central Core of Excise Custom Duty levied while exporting goods from India. The work of enhancing capacity on the Nepali side has finished with replacement of wire in the 12-kilomter stretch of the transmission line.
NEA plans to import additional electricity from India, and supply another 40 MW by operating the multi-fuel plants in Biratnagar and Hetauda. Load-shedding is projected to rise up to 18 hours a day if additional electricity cannot be imported from India, targeted quantity cannot be generated from the multi-fuel plants, and the Kulekhani reservoir were not to be filled. The Kulekhani reservoir has been filled this year.
Demand of electricity rises by 80 MW every year. While the demand of electricity rises due to the cold weather during the winter, generation falls by up to 25 percent as all the projects except Kulekhani are run of the river types. NEA has signed agreement with PTC to import 150 MW from mid 2015 at commercial rate. Similarly, Nepal has been receiving 70 million units of free electricity a year from the Tanakpur Project as per the Mahakali Treaty.
Nepal does almost 70 percent of business with India. Around Rs 32 billion had gone abroad in procurement of electricity, diesel generators and inverters last year
Source : Karobar Daily