NEA to urge India not to raise energy prices

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    Jul 4, 2018-Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) Managing Director Kulman Ghising will be leading a delegation to India to convince the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) not to raise the price of the electricity being supplied to Nepal.

    The NEA imports energy from India via 132 kV, 33 kV and 11 kV transmission lines. It pays IRs 5.55 per unit for power imported over 132 kV transmission lines.

    Likewise, the price of energy imported over 33 kV and 11 kV lines is IRs 6 and IRs 6.45 respectively.

    The NEA team will leave for New Delhi on Wednesday to participate in a meeting of the Nepal-India Power Exchange Committee scheduled for Thursday and Friday. They will discuss issues related to cross-border electricity trade like prices, import volume and trading modality. The committee will fix the prices for next year.

    As the cost of electricity has gone up in India, Indian authorities might want to hike prices, and the Nepali delegation will try to persuade them not to do so, said NEA spokesperson Prabal Adhikari.

    Following the meeting with the Power Exchange Committee, the NEA team will hold separate meetings with the CEA to establish a power banking mechanism between Nepal and India.

    Power banking refers to exchange electricity for electricity instead of cash. Under this mechanism, one country exports electricity to the other when it has a surplus, and imports back the same amount of energy when it has a deficit.

    The NEA has submitted a concept note of the power banking mechanism to Indian authorities and is awaiting their response. According to the concept note, seasonal complementarities of demand and supply of electricity that exist in Nepal and India will make energy banking a highly suitable model for power transaction to benefit both countries.

    During the meeting, we will ask for an official Indian opinion regarding power banking between the two countries, according to Adhikari. Likewise, the NEA will hold discussions with the CEA to finalise the funding and implementation modality of the 400 kV New Butwal-Gorakhpur Cross-Border Transmission Line Project.

    The fifth energy secretary-level joint steering committee meeting held between the two countries in April had authorized the NEA and the CEA to give suggestions to the committee on implementation and funding modalities within three months.

    As per the minutes of the meeting, the two entities will study the power transfer requirements of both countries and recommend funding modalities accordingly.

    Source: The Kathmandu Post