27Aug, Kathmandu : Over the past nine years, Nepal’s electricity transmission system has seen a remarkable addition of three thousand one hundred and eighteen kilometers of circuit transmission lines. With the cessation of load shedding, the Authority, committed to ensuring prioritized electrification and delivering ample, dependable, high-quality, and safe electricity to consumers, has made significant strides in expanding and enhancing transmission and distribution infrastructure.
The Authority is currently engaged in constructing transmission lines and substation projects through the Directorate of Transmission and Project Management. These transmission and distribution lines, along with substations, play a vital role in transporting electricity from power plants to consumers’ residences.
During the last nine years, grid substation capacity has surged to 8,867 MVA. Comparatively, in the fiscal year (FY) 2071-72, substations were equipped with a capacity of only 2,132 MVA. However, in FY 2079-80, substations’ capacity escalated to 6,735 MVA. The progression is evident not only in capacity but also in the range of operational power lines. From solely transmitting 66 and 132 KV power lines in 2071-72, the system now accommodates 66, 132, 220, and 400 KV lines.
Over the same period, transmission line coverage has expanded from 2,624 circuit kilometers in 2071-72 to 5,742 circuit kilometers by 2079-80, with an addition of 3,118 circuit kilometers. In 2072-73, the system featured only 66 and 132 KV transmission lines, but 220 and 400 KV lines became operational from 2073-74. Presently, the system encompasses 514 circuit kilometers of 66 kV transmission lines and 3,979 circuit kilometers of 132 kV transmission lines. Additionally, there are 1,111 circuit kilometers of 220 KV transmission lines and 148 circuit kilometers of 400 KV transmission lines.
Notably, 606 circuit kilometers of transmission lines were integrated during 2075-76, while the smallest addition of 141 circuit kilometers occurred in 2074-75. The past year witnessed the incorporation of 413 kilometers of circuit kilometers into the transmission line network.
Kulman Ghising, the Managing Director of the Authority, emphasized that a strategic approach has been adopted to enhance the system’s infrastructure, aiming to address consumer grievances about frequent power interruptions due to technical issues and to ensure a stable, reliable, superior, and secure power supply. Ghising noted challenges encountered in transmission line projects, such as local obstacles, land acquisition, forest area utilization, and tree removal, and assured ongoing efforts to resolve these issues.
“Obtaining land usage and tree felling approvals in forested areas is a time-consuming process, coupled with substantial compensation requirements to government agencies. This prolongs project timelines and escalates electricity production costs,” stated Managing Director Ghising. “Declaring the upcoming decade as a national development phase and promptly implementing programs outlined in this year’s budget are imperative.”
To meet electricity demand up to 2050, Ghising highlighted the division of major cities, including Kathmandu, into 11 clusters, accompanied by a comprehensive master plan for transmission and substation infrastructure. He further disclosed the commencement of 400, 220, and 132 kV east-west transmission line construction near the Hulaki highway, catering to the expansion of industrial and urban areas in the southern Terai/Madhesh region.
The Authority’s data indicates that approximately 2,852 circuit kilometers of transmission lines with varying capacities are presently under construction. Among these, 1,111 circuit kilometers pertain to 132 KV transmission lines, while 988 and 754 circuit kilometers correspond to 220 and 400 KV transmission lines, respectively.
Furthermore, plans include the advancement of construction for an additional 6,751 circuit kilometers. This entails the construction of 1,141, 1,752, and 3,858 circuit kilometers of 132, 220, and 400 KV transmission lines, respectively. Additionally, proposals encompass the establishment of substations with a combined capacity of 10,469 MVA, along with the potential construction of substations capable of generating 15,564 MVA.