Load-shedding to go up by an hour a day in Central Region

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    KATHMANDU, DEC 15 – Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has said it will extend load-shedding by one hour a day in the Central Region from Wednesday.

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    An NEA official said the utility would cut power supply for 70 hours a week, or 10 hours a day. The NEA said the rainfall for the last few days would not make a bigger difference in power generation.

    The Central Region, the largest power consumer, is currently witnessing 56 hours a week of power cuts. In the Eastern Region, NEA cuts supply for 20 hours a week, and seven hours a week in the Western Region.

    NEA, however, said the outage hours would not exceed 12 hours a day this winter. “Things are look positive so far. We are sure that the outage hours will not exceed 12 hours a day,” said NEA Managing Director Mukesh Kafle.

    Increased capacity of NEA, rise in power imports from India and adequate water in the Kulekhani dam will help NEA limit load-shedding to less than 12 hours a day, according to Kafle.

    Last year, NEA was able to limit load-shedding to a maximum of 12 hours a day. “This was possible due to sound operation of the power system, enough water in the Kulekhani reservoir, and comparatively higher rainfall, said Kafle adding, Kulekhani can be operated in full capacity this year too.

    Kulekhani is the country’s sole reservoir-type hydropower project.

    According to a NEA official, if the power generation is not adequate, NEA would not let the load-shedding extend beyond 12 hours a day for households, even if it has to cut the supply to industries. According to NEA’s annual report for 2013-14, industrial and commercial consumers account for just 2.01 percent of the total number of consumers, but they consume 43.93 percent of the electricity generated.

    As of Thursday, the NEA system generated 355MW of energy, 133MW was contributed by Independent Power Producers (IPPs), and Indian imports stood at 213MW, according to NEA. “We have capacity to import 250MW power from India at maximum,” Kafle said. The peak power demand as of Thursday stood at 1,150MW.

    Kafle said rise in load-shedding during winters is because of the decrease in discharge from run-of-the-river type projects. “Therefore, unless there are any unexpected problems, we will succeed in achieving our target,” Kafle said, adding Bhotekoshi Hydropower Project’s to evacuate power to the national grid increased load-shedding by an hour.

    Even though the project is fit to generate energy post-Sunkoshi havoc in August, political cadres’ obstruction in the maintenance of transmission towers has forced the project to remain idle.

    Kafle said the Sunkoshi Hydropower Project, which was also hit by the Sunkoshi flood, is currently generating 10MW energy. “The project is generating energy by creating a diversion,” he said, adding Bhotekoshi too can resume supply immediately if the issue is settled.

    Source : eKantipur