Kathmandu, Jan 4: Nepal and India have inked a long-term agreement on electricity today.
Secretaries of both countries signed the document in the presence of the Minister for Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation, Shakti Bahadur Basnet.
With the signing of the agreement, the bilateral understanding to export 10,000 megawatts of electricity from Nepal to India in the next ten years has been materialised. Secretary at the Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation, Gopal Sigdel and India’s Energy Secretary Pankaj Agrawal signed the agreement paper on behalf of their respective sides.
The bilateral understanding on electricity export was reached during Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’s visit to India from 31 May to 3 June 2023. During the visit, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed India’s commitment to long-term electricity purchases from Nepal, and both nations reached a consensus on this matter.
The Federal Council of Ministers of India has already endorsed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The agreement was signed during the two-day visit of India’s External Affairs Minister Dr Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, which commenced today.
Following this agreement, various government and private entities in India will trade power with Nepal through short-term, medium-term, and long-term contracts. Private sectors in Nepal can also participate in importing and exporting electricity after completing the necessary procedures.
In a press conference organised in the course of Prime Minister Prachanda’s visit to India, prime ministers of both countries commented that the issue of power export was historic and significant. The government has already prepared an energy development strategy intending to produce 28,000 MW of electricity in the next 12 years.
Of 28,000 MW of power, a target has been set to export 15,000 MW of electricity to different countries including India.
The private sector welcomed the agreement, citing doors for the development of Nepal’s energy sector would be opened after the agreement. The government has set a target to bring quality change to the development of the energy sector taking the private sector together.
Earlier, a delegation led by Indian Energy Secretary Agrawal paid a courtesy call to Energy Minister Basnet.
On the occasion, of expressing happiness over the beginning of meaningful cooperation in the energy sector between the two countries, Energy Minister Basnet pointed out the need to take it to a further conclusion.
He shared that the agreement regarding exporting 10,000 MW of electricity in the next 10 years would take the relations between the two countries to a new height.
The Energy Minister urged to accelerate other projects and complete them on slated time, expecting Indian investment in large projects. (RSS)