Despite the decline in the generation of electricity from the domestic power plants, Nepal Electricity Authority is supplying electricity to the country without shedding the power load. At a time when there is a growing rumor about the possibility the load-shedding schedules returning, Kul Man Ghising, Managing Director of NEA, spoke to New Spotlight on the likely scenarios. Excerpts:
Tell us about your visit to India?
I have discussed the issue with Indian authorities and they have agreed to increase the supply of electricity from the trans-boundary transmission line, that is, Mujafarpur-Dhalkebar Transmission line. This will help us maintain the supply of energy to the country. The energy imported from India is crucial to end load-shedding in the country. The meeting with Indian officials was cordial and they agreed to provide us as much energy as possible.
How do you look at the recent rumors on the possibility of load-shedding returning, on media outlets, mainly on social media?
Nepal Electricity Authority is very concerned about the news reports coming up through various media outlets and social media regarding the possible load shedding. I want to clarify that currently there is no publicly declared load shedding to the public except three hours of publicly announced load shedding for the industrial sector.
It is reported in different media that there is an undeclared load-shedding. What do you say?
First of all there is no load-shedding at all. There may be a short power cut in some areas due to technical problems and obstructions. As NEA has a strong technical team, we are able to restore the power cuts much earlier.
What steps has NEA been taking to improve the power supply?
Keeping in mind the need to improve quality of power supply to consumers and improve the total distribution system, NEA has been working to reform feeders and enhance the capacity of transformers all over Nepal. NEA has been giving high priority to this.
As you have said the generation has gone down by more than half, how is NEA meeting the supply?
With the advent of winter season, the water flow is drastically reduced in all the rivers, hampering the electricity generation. At a time when there is a high demand of power, the production of electricity has declined at home. Despite challenges in supply and demand, NEA has been providing regular supply with proper management of the schedules. NEA is committed to doing this. To meet the challenges of supply and demand and provide light to consumers by reducing the load shedding, NEA has been implementing programs for demand and supply.
What is the state of demand and supply?
Currently, there is a demand of over 1264 MW. Out of this, NEA’s power plants are generating 372 MW (Except 92 MW Kulekhani) and contribution of private sector is 220 MW and 372MW import from India and remaining 300MW through load shedding. NEA is currently cutting three hours of electricity in industrial sector.
How do you manage the electricity supply during the winter?
During the remaining winter period, NEA has already made plans to optimize capacity of its own power plants, Independent Power Producers and import from India. As Nepal’s internal power system is yet to be capable to generate enough electricity, Nepal has been receiving electricity from Nepal India Trans-boundary Transmission line. As in the past, NEA has been receiving all kinds of support and cooperation from concerned government institutions of Nepal and India to maintain the power supply.
What else do you have to say in managing the supply?
NEA has also been discouraging electricity theft during the peaking time, reducing the technical loss as well. I would like to request all consumers to help us by not using heater, washing machine, ironing, water pump and other electric equipment.
How can the performance agreement help improve the power supply?
We have begun performance evaluation agreement with officers to upgrade the quality of service provided by the organization. We will start our first phase agreement with the staff of Direct Customer Service (DCS) department. We already have the Customer and Distribution Service Directorate.
Will it help improve service?
NEA hopes that it will give the guidelines for upgrading the services and it will be effective for the administrative and financial sector. After the first phase agreement, NEA will ink accords with the Head of Hydroelectricity and Transmission Line, Head of Electricity Centers and Deputy Managing Director. The agreement with Head of Distribution Centers will help reduce the electricity leakage, minimize administration expenditure and provide quality and secured services. Mainly, it is targeted to control the electricity leakage, and reduce the time of revenue collection. The NEA has informed that the performance evaluation will be supervised in every four months.
Is there any provision for reward?
Yes, there is such a provision. If the distribution centers will meet the 50 percent target to control the electricity leakage and revenue collection, the NEA will reward them with cash as motivating incentive. The staff meeting the target will be awarded with number to be added in the promotion process and will also be provided the chances for attending seminars and trainings held out of the country.