NEA losing millions with no transmission line

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    Under-construction Khimit-Dhalkebar project in east misses deadline

    KATHMANDU:The deadline to complete the World Bank-funded 220 KV Khimti-Dhalkebar Transmission Line project ended in December. Had the project been completed on time, the Nepal Electricity Authority would have been able to save the annual loss of Rs 350 million that it has been incurring since 2008.

    The project could not be completed on time because locals of Sindhuli Madi Municipality have been obstructing installation of six towers for the last one year.

    NEA Spokesman Sher Singh Bhat said that there is a system loss of about 120,000 unit per day, amounting to Rs 175 million a year, in power transmission in long distance from the western region to the eastern region. The Khimti-Dhalkebar Transmission Line is the shortest route to link the eastern region that has industrial areas. Completion of this line would have helped ease NEA’s power load and save system loss. The 75-km transmission line is the highest capacity line in the country with double circuit features, and is able to carry the current flow up to 1,000 MW.

    In addition, Khimti-Dhalkebar Transmission Line is also expected to ease the load of Bharatpur-Hetauda Transmission Line. As soon as the new line comes into operation, power generated from Bhotekoshi (36 MW) and Khimti (60 MW) can be directly connected to the eastern region, said Bhuwan Kumar Chhetri, Chief of NEA’s Load Dispatch Centre. Currently power generated from Khimti and Bhotekoshi is connected to Kathmandu and then re-routed to the east.

    There are major power houses in the western region — Kaligandaki A (144 MW), Marsyangdi (69 MW) and Middle Marsyangdi (70 MW) — and the sooner the under-construction transmission line comes into operation, the more cost-effective it will be for the NEA.

    A retired general manager of NEA said on condition of anonymity that the NEA has been incurring loss of Rs 500 million annually for the last five years for not having the shortest transmission line in the east.

    Locals of Sindhuli Madi have been obstructing construction of towers for the transmission line even though the government has pledged to provide compensation to them.

    After the World Bank expressed its concerns about the delay, a government team led by Krishna Hari Baskota, Secretary at the Prime Minister’s Office, reached the construction site last week to take stock of the situation. Baskota said the government was ready to address any other development necessities of locals. He added that he has asked the local administration to address the locals’ concerns.

    Source : The Himalayan Times