Officials of the Nepal-China joint technical team formed to prepare a detailed project report (DPR) for a cross-border transmission line plan to hold their first meeting this month.
The panel, which consists of five representatives from each country, will hire a consultant to prepare the DPR besides finalising the construction and funding modality of the first ever trans-Himalayan electricity line.
According to a Nepali member of the team, the meeting will take place this month but the venue is yet to be decided. “It seems both sides want to host the first meeting of the technical team in their country,” said Komal Atreya, the government-appointed project chief of the cross-border power line project and member of the technical team.
Last week, the Nepali members of the team led by Bajra Bhusan Chaudhary, deputy managing director of the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), invited their Chinese counterparts to visit Nepal by mid-August to hold the first meeting.
However, the Chinese side, coordinated by the vice-chair of State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC), invited the Nepali members to China for the first meeting.
“We will soon finalise the venue and have our first meeting which will be a stepping stone to preparing a roadmap for the preparation of the DPR,” said Atreya. “Our plan is to hold the first meeting this month.”
After the roadmap is completed, the team will initiate the process of appointing a consultant to prepare the DPR for the project.
The 400 kV transmission line will extend from Galchhi in Nepal to Shigatse in China.
As only 80 km of the estimated 800-km length of the transmission line lies within Nepali territory, the NEA
has asked the Chinese side to take the lead in developing the project.
The Nepali portion of the power line will stretch from Galchhi in Dhading district to Rasuwagadhi on the border with China in the north, according to the state-owned power utility.
The NEA has already finalised the alignment of the power line. According to the NEA, the Chinese side is very keen on executing the project and has prioritised it.
SGCC officials visited Nepal in early 2017 to hold talks with the Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation and the NEA to build a power line linking Rasuwagadhi and Kerung.
During the meeting, NEA Managing Director Kulman Ghising asked the Chinese delegation to extend the
proposed transmission line further south up to Galchhi so that it could be linked with the Nepal-India
cross-border transmission line proposed to be built in Rupandehi district. As the transmission line is necessary to supply electricity to the railway service which China plans to build up to Kathmandu, the northern neighbour is very eager to develop it.
China has already erected a high voltage transmission line up to Shigatse, and if the Nepal government
shows adequate commitment, they have agreed to extend it to Kerung within one and a half years, and ultimately connect it with the power line in Nepal, according to the NEA.
Source : The Kathmandu Post