Joint Technical Team Boosts Electricity Trade: Nepal and India Strengthen Transmission Links for Energy Exchange

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The two sides agree to the optimum utilisation of high-capacity transmission while completing under-construction low-voltage lines.

Nepali and Indian officials have agreed to open several transmission corridors to boost electricity trade between the neighbours.

The 14th meeting of the Joint Technical Team (JTT) under the Joint Steering Committee held in New Delhi on Wednesday reached an understanding on increasing the quantum of power to be traded through the Dhalkebar-Muzaffarpur cross-border transmission line and accelerating the under-construction cross-border lines to boost power trade.

“The agreement reached during the JTT meeting will be submitted to the joint secretary-level Joint Working Group and the secretary-level Joint Steering Committee for endorsement,” said Sandeep Kumar Dev, joint secretary at the Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation, who led the Nepali team. “Once the Joint Steering Committee approves this understanding, it will pave the way for implementing the agreement.”

As per the details of the agreement received by the Post, the Dhalkebar-Muzaffarpur line will be used for high-capacity transmission beyond 800 megawatts when the Hetauda-Dhalkebar-Inaruwa 400kV line is commissioned.

“There has been an understanding to trade electricity through this line up to 1,000 MW,” said Dev.

During the 10th JSC meeting held in February, the two countries agreed to increase the volume of power to be traded via the 400kV Dhalkebar-Muzaffarpur line from 600 MW to 800 MW. But, based on the approval given by New Delhi for export, Nepal can sell in India only upto 562.6 MW through this line.

According to Dev, without completing the 400kV Hetauda-Dhalkebar- Inaruwa 400kV line, there will be technical difficulty transmitting power in the quantum of 1,000 MW through the Dhalkebar-Muzaffarpur line.

The two sides also agreed that Nepal could use the spare capacity of the 400kV Dhalkebar-Sitamarhi cross-border facility being constructed by the SJVN Arun-3 Power Development Company.

The company is also developing the 900 MW Arun-3 Hydropower Project. The capacity of the 400kV Dhalkebar-Sitamarhi line is up to 2,000 MW. “This gives us the option to use the 1,100 MW spare capacity until the SJVN, an Indian company, develops other cascade projects, including the 669 MW Lower Arun and the 490 MW Arun-4,” said Dev.

The sides also agreed to complete the 132 kV New Nautanwa-Mainaiya line by October, and it can be used for both import and export. Likewise, the 132kV Kohalpur-Nanpara line will be commissioned by the end of this fiscal year, which can also be used for import and export of power, according to Prabal Adhikari, power trade director at the Nepal Electricity Authority.

As per the agreement with the Indian side in the last JSC meeting in February, India has already allowed Nepal to export electricity through the Tanakpur- Mahendranagar corridor. Earlier, Nepal used the corridor only to import electricity.

Power generated by the Upper Chameliya Project and Upper Kalanga Gadh Hydroelectric Project has been exported to India through this 132kV cross-border line since early September.

In the JTT meeting, the two countries agreed to conduct a visit by a technical team from both sides to study the feasibility of building a 220kV line.

The two sides also agreed to expedite the 400kV Dodhara-Bareilly cross-border line, which they have agreed to complete by 2028-29.

They reached the latest agreement on cross-border transmission as Nepal is keen to boost power export with growing electricity generation amid limited domestic consumption.

The Indian government has promised to buy 10,000 MW of electricity in the next 10 years from Nepal. However, poor domestic and cross-border transmission infrastructure has emerged as an impediment to Nepal’s power export.

It is necessary to develop the transmission infrastructure, said Dev.

 

Source: The Kathmandu Post