IPPAN Requests Former Indian Ambassador to Facilitate Electricity Trade

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The Independent Power Producers’ Association, Nepal (IPPAN) has requested former ambassador of India to Nepal Ranjit Rae to facilitate electricity trade in the Indian market.

The request was made during a program jointly organized by the ASEAN Institute of Diplomacy and International Affairs (AIDIA) and IPPAN on Sunday. The program discussed various issues seen in the Nepal-India electricity trade and the problems faced by private promoters of Nepal due to electricity trade rules and guidelines introduced by the government of India.

In his response, Rae said that while many issues between Nepal and India are connected with geopolitics, it is not possible to close relationships to the full extent. He added that the case related to the power trade guidelines is likely to be resolved as it is “not bound by an uncrossable line.”

IPPAN Chairman Ganesh Karki informed that Nepal has prepared a roadmap to produce 25,000 megawatts of clean energy within the next decade. He said that this would require close cooperation with India, as Nepal does not have the transmission infrastructure to export all of this power on its own.

Shailendra Guragain, former president of IPPAN, said that the private sector has also established the Nepal Power Exchange Ltd (NEPEX) to facilitate electricity trade with India. He stressed the need for diplomatic initiatives to create an environment wherein the private sector of Nepal can trade power with the private sector of India.

IPPAN Vice President Ananda Chaudhary expressed concern about the Hydropower Purchase Obligation (HPO) to India DISCOMS (distribution companies) should allow Nepalese Hydropower Generation also as currently guideline mention ” Hydropower imported from outside India shall not be considered for meeting HPO. Similarly Joint General Secretary Prakash Dulal reminded that Indian investment projects have been hindered due to the comments that India is not working in the interests of Nepal.

In response, Rae said that while both countries are to benefit from the projects, some politicians of Nepal have made a name by badmouthing Indian projects. He also said that no project can be carried out if there isn’t any benefit for both countries, and it is the responsibility of the Nepali citizens to create a favourable environment by explaining the benefits of such projects to other Nepali citizens.

Speaking about the Pancheshwar hydro project, Rae said that the construction of this project would cause more damage to India than to Nepal, considering the need to resettle the locals in the region. He said that although there is no ambivalence about taking 50-50 per cent of the electricity coming from the project, it is true that the Indian side will get some more benefit in irrigation as there is no arable land in the Nepali territory. He said that Nepal should proceed by taking other benefits.