NEA Records Highest-Ever Profit in First Half of Fiscal Year, Driven by Power Exports

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Nepal Electricity Authority has raked in remarkable profit during the first half of the current fiscal year on the back of power exports, the state-owned power utility said on Wednesday.

According to unaudited financial details, the utility racked up a profit of Rs15.36 billion, excluding tax liability, during the first half of this fiscal. The amount exceeds the profit it earned in any previous fiscal year.

Its profit (excluding taxes) in the fiscal year 2022–23 was Rs 12.33 billion. Since fiscal year 2016–17, the NEA has been making profits after incurring losses consecutively in the previous fiscal years during load-shedding times. In 2011, for instance, its accumulated losses of nearly Rs28 billion were written off.

Earlier, in fiscal 2021–22, its profit stood at Rs 13.37 billion, which was the highest the NEA made until the figures of the current fiscal year emerged.

The profits of the first half of this fiscal year are higher by Rs4.44 billion than the same period last year, according to the NEA.

The main reasons behind the increase in profit are leakage control, increased domestic consumption, and increased export earnings, Kul Man Ghising, managing director of the NEA, said in a statement. “Austerity measures taken to control unwanted expenditure also contributed to the rise,” he said.

The NEA earned Rs67.28 billion in revenue during the first half of this fiscal, while its expenditure stood at Rs51.92 billion.

“Even though it is a provisional figure, there will not be any major changes in it,” an official at the NEA’s accounting department said.

Despite improved profitability, Ghising said the profit generated by the NEA would not be enough to meet the requirement of the country to invest in the areas of generation, transmission, and transmission sectors. “We will require Rs1 trillion to Rs1.2 trillion in the next few years for that purpose,” he said.

According to the state-owned body, power exports remained a significant driver of revenue generation during the first half of this fiscal, contributing as much as Rs13.38 billion. Nepal started exporting power to India in November 2021.

The southern neighbour has allowed Nepal to export as much as 632MW of electricity. A total of 1.98 billion units of electricity were sold during the first half of this fiscal. Nepal can sell in India’s day-ahead, real-time, and medium-term (up to five years) markets. A bilateral agreement reached between the two countries has also opened the door for long-term power sale and purchase agreement.

Since December last year, NEA has also been importing power from India, amounting to Rs1.98 billion. Even though Nepal exports power during the rainy season, it has to import it from India during the second half of the fiscal year. “If water levels in the rivers remain higher than last year, we will not be required to import more from India,” the official said.

Until last fiscal year (2022–23), Nepal was the net importer of electricity, with the country’s net import standing at 487 gigawatt hours, according to the Annual Report 2022–23.