KATHMANDU, JAN 03 –
A high-level team from the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has left for India to negotiate another power purchase deal for next year.
The delegation is led by NEA managing director Rameshwor Yadav and includes Bhuwan Chettri, chief of the Load Dispatch Centre, Rajeshwor Man Sulpiya, general manager of the Transmission and System Operation Division, and Ganesh Prashad Raj, general manager of the Grid Development Division.
The NEA team has left for New Delhi a month after it agreed to export another 70 MW. Including this amount, Nepal’s total energy imports from India come to 180 MW.
NEA spokesperson Sher Singh Bhat said that during his recent visit to India, the Indian government had agreed to supply as much energy as possible from points in Bihar state. Nepal imports energy from six points in Bihar. Bhat added that, except for the Siraha point, all the other five points were receiving energy to their full capacity.
“This visit led by the managing director holds no significance as India has recently approved the NEA’s proposal for additional energy,” said an NEA official who was a member of Bhat’s delegation. He added that it was useless negotiating for additional energy for next year when the country was presently suffering an energy crisis.
The official also claimed that even if India approves the request of the MD’s team for more energy, it wouldn’t be of much use as the existing cross-border transmission lines do not have the capacity to transport more electricity to Nepal.
Since the Energy Ministry and the NEA have failed to adopt strong measures to lessen the power crisis, the country is expected to face some 19 hours of load-shedding daily during the peak demand season.
NEA officials said that they had been surprised by the visit to India of the high-level team as its agenda had not been discussed with them. “We have not been told why the MD has left for India,” said a high NEA official, “Even if he has left for India to negotiate a power deal, it is not of current relevance. What is relevant presently is reducing the growing load-shedding this year.”
The MD’s team is scheduled to hold meetings with officials from Power Trading Corporation of India (PTC) and Power Grid India during the visit.
Though PTC has already agreed to provide an additional 150 MW to Nepal, the NEA has not been able to bring it to Nepal for lack of high-voltage transmission lines. The delegation is also scheduled to discuss speeding up work on the construction of cross-border transmission lines to ease power trading between the two countries.
Source : The Kathmandu Post