Nepal-India Joint Secretary Committee Deliberates on Bilateral Power Trade and Project Implementation Progress

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Kathmandu, Jan. 8: The 11th meeting of the Joint Steering Committee on Power Sector Cooperation (JSC), co-chaired by Gopal Prasad Sigdel, Secretary (Energy), Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation and Pankaj Agarwal, Secretary, Ministry of Power, Government of India concluding in Chitwan on Friday reviewed the bilateral power sector cooperation between Nepal and India.

The meeting held after the signing of the Agreement on Long-Term Power Trade between India and Nepal on January 4, also reviewed the power trade and the implementation of hydropower projects and transmission lines.

According to a statement issued by the Embassy of India in Katmandu, progress made in various bilateral committees, including Joint Technical Team (JTT), was also discussed in the Chitwan meeting.

The meeting approved the modalities of cross-border power trade through 132 kV and below transmission lines. “This assumes special significance as three new 132 kV lines i.e. second circuit of Raxaul (Bihar, India)-Parwanipur (Nepal), second circuit of Kataiya (Bihar, India)-Kusaha (Nepal) and New Nautanwa (Uttar Pradesh, India)-Mainhiya (Nepal) which were jointly inaugurated by the External Affairs Minister of India and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Nepal on January 4. These lines add about 200 MW transmission strength enhancing the overall transmission capacity between India and Nepal to 1400 MW,” read the statement.  Further, the

Nautanwa-Mainhiya transmission line is the first connection between Nepal and the state of Uttar Pradesh in India.

The two countries also agreed to hold the first meeting of the Joint Hydro Development Committee (JHDC) soon.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation said that Nepal and India have agreed mainly on eight issues to facilitate the exchange of electricity by enhancing the capacity of cross-border transmission lines between the two countries.

In a separate statement issued on Saturday, the Ministry said that the two sides agreed to increase the capacity of the Dhalkebar-Muzaffar cross-border transmission line, which is operated as a first cross-border transmission line, to 1000 MW from its existing capacity of 800 MW.

The two countries also decided to conduct a study through a Joint Technical Team (JTT) to determine the capacity of electricity that can be exchanged from the Dhalkebar-Sitamarhi 400 kV transmission line being constructed by Dhalkebar-Muzaffarpur and SJVN Arun-3 Power Development Company Pvt Ltd (SAPDC).

Similarly, it has been agreed to conduct a study through JTT on possible options for exporting electricity up to 200 MW from Tanakpur-Mahendranagar 132 kV power transmission line or other high voltage capacity transmission line.

Similarly, the meeting approved the modalities prepared by the Central Electricity Authority of India in coordination with the Nepal Electricity Authority and other agencies of India regarding the import and export of electricity between the two countries using the transmission system of the neighbouring state of India from Nepal during the rainy season through the existing transmission line of 132 kV capacity and below.

The JSC meeting instructed the JWG to finalise the investment modality to complete the construction of two more 400 kV cross-border transmission lines—Inarawa-Purniya and New Lumki (Dodohara)-Bareli transmission line between Nepal-India by 2027/28 and 2028/29 respectively.

To export 40 megawatts of electricity from Nepal to Bangladesh using India’s transmission system, according to India’s electricity import-export guidelines, Nepal Electricity Authority, India’s NTPC Electricity Trade Corporation and Bangladesh’s Power Development Board discussed the theoretical aspects of making a tripartite agreement soon.

Discussions have also been held in principle on having a separate tripartite agreement as per  the Power Import and Export Guidelines of India, among NEA, the NTPC Vidhyut Vyapar Nigam of India and the Power Development Board of Bangladesh for the export of 40 megawatts electricity from Nepal to Bangladesh by using India’s transmission system.

According to the ministry, JTT has been instructed to study more high-voltage level transmission lines required for importing and exporting electricity between Nepal and India.

Visiting Power Secretary Pankaj Agarwal also called on Minister for Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation of Nepal Shakti Bahadur Basnet before the JSC.

The two sides agreed to continue the discussions on the subject and decided to meet soon for the next sessions of the JWG/JSC meetings to be organised by the Indian side, read the statement of the Indian Embassy.

 

Source: Rising Nepal