The Independent Power Producers’ Association, Nepal (IPPAN), has advocated for the government to channel its efforts towards robust infrastructure construction, particularly focused on electricity transmission lines and substations over the next 10 years.
Deputy Secretary General of IPPAN, Prakash Chandra Dulal, conveyed that he has suggested to the Ministry of Energy, Water Resources, and Irrigation to prioritize the development of transmission and distribution lines during the impending hydropower development decade to be announced by the government.
“Our appeal to the government is to allocate ample budgetary provisions and demonstrate unwavering commitment towards timely completion of transmission lines and substations,” Dulal stated. “For the span of a decade, the Nepal Electricity Authority should pivot its attention from project initiation and construction towards transmission line development, with sole responsibility entrusted to private entities.”
The IPPAN has additionally requested for streamlined facilitation in the approval process for environmental impact assessments and preliminary environmental test reports concerning project and transmission line constructions.
The IPPAN further asserted that, over the next 10 years, the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) should exclusively concentrate on transmission line expansion, delegating project initiation and construction tasks solely to private firms. IPPAN has called upon the government to address obstacles encountered in project, transmission line, substation, and access road construction.
Highlighting the prevailing challenges, IPPAN’s recommendation pointed out, “Complications arise due to the absence of a comprehensive policy framework to determine electricity purchase and sale rates, particularly concerning land acquisition for projects. Issues persist with regards to bank loans and personal investments for projects exceeding 100 megawatts.”
Moreover, IPPAN has advocated for the formulation of a comprehensive strategy to achieve the dual goals of consuming 10,000 megawatts and generating 30,000 megawatts of electricity over the course of the next decade.
The association also drew attention to the delayed promulgation of the Electricity Act, asserting that this delay has hindered the creation of an environment conducive to industrial growth within the energy sector. The stagnation of the domestic electricity market and the lack of private sector endorsement for cross-border electricity trade were pinpointed as additional concerns in IPPAN’s proposal. The association also urged the simplification of the bureaucratic process, advocating for the removal of requirements from seven ministries, 23 departments, and numerous other entities in project development.