Nepal, China to have joint cooperation mechanism similar to India

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    Nepal and China have agreed to set up a joint mechanism for energy cooperation and to develop necessary infrastructures for bilateral energy trade.

    A Nepal-China joint statement issued on Wednesday said Nepal and China have agreed to establish a Dialogue Mechanism on Energy Cooperation to facilitate long-term planning and cooperation in energy sector. Areas of cooperation will be trans-border transmission line, hydropower development and harnessing solar power, among others.

    The mechanism is similar to the Joint Steering Committee of Nepal and India that looks after energy trade and development of necessary infrastructures. Government officials also say that the dialogue mechanism with China is similar to the permanent structure of secretary level between Nepal and India. The Joint Steering Committee was envisaged by the Power Trade Agreement that Nepal and India signed in October, 2014.

    The joint statement also says that Nepal has proposed China to provide technical and financial supports for conduct feasibility study and prepare Detailed Project Report (DPR) to develop Arun Kimathanka Hydropower Project (434 MW) and build a 400 KV trans-border transmission line that supports exchange of up to 1500 MW via Rasuwagadhi- Kerung route.

    Sanjay Sharma, spokesperson of Ministry of Energy, said that they have already held discussion on the trans-border transmission line with the technical team of State Grid Corporation of China, 10 days before PM Oli embarked on China visit” “They had proposed to build the transmission line before Nepal tabled the proposal. We have also proposed China to develop Arun-Kimathanka projec”,” added Sharma.

    The attractive project lies above Arun III which is being developed by Indian company Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam.

    Besides this, Nepal also has sought Chinese support to construct 132 KV double circuit transmission monopole structure along Ring Road of Kathmandu. It will address existing bottlenecks in electricity supply. At present, electricity is supplied in Kathmandu Valley by 66, 33 and 11 KV transmission lines.

    Monopoles are more efficient and easy to install compared to concrete poles.

    Nepal has two other joint mechanisms led by energy and water resources secretaries with India — Nepal India Joint Committee on Water Resources and Governing Body of Pancheshwor Development Authority to build Pancheshwor Multi Purpose project.

    Likewise, a loan agreement to develop Pokhara Regional International Airport and agreements to exchange ideas and proposals for construction of cross border railways have been signed between Nepal and China. Besides, Nepal has sought technical and financial support from China to conduct feasibility study and prepare Detailed Project Report of the proposed Rasuwagadhi-Kathmandu and Kathmandu-Pokhara-Lumbini Railway Project.

    Relevant authorities of both countries will exchange ideas and proposal on constructing cross border railways and railways network in Nepal, and support enterprises to start related preparatory work as soon as possible, according to the joint statement. Both the countries have also agreed to synergize each other’s development planning and formulate appropriate bilateral programs and carry out major project under the framework of the belt and road initiative.

    Nepal and China have also agreed to strengthen land and air connectivity. China has agreed to expedite work to conduct feasibility study for repair and maintenance of Araniko Highway and Syafrubeshi-Rasuwagadi Highway. The two countries have also agreed to explore the possibility of establishing cross border economic cooperation zones via existing frontier ports and speed up work to open up other frontier ports and trade points.

    Nepal has also requested China to provide assistance for preparation of Detailed Project Report of Kimathanka-Khandbari-Dhankuta Road and second phase of Ring Road in Kathmandu valley. Nepal has already put the Kimathanka-Dhankuta road in priority. It plans to develop the all-weather road within three years.

    China has also agreed to assist Nepal to build oil storage facilities.

    Source : Republica