Kathmandu, Aug. 1:
At a time when the country is divided into two groups on whether to sign Power Trade Agreement (PTA) or Project Development Agreement (PDA) with India, it is found that Nepal has purchased power worth Rs. 7 billion from India last year alone.
According to Payment Section of the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), it paid Rs. 6.636 billion to Electricity Board of Indian State of Bihar until in the last Fiscal Year 2070- 71 BS.
Likewise, it has also purchased electricity with Power Trade Company of India (PTC) worth Rs. 626.3 million.
Both combined, Nepal spent Rs. 7.26 billion at Rs. 5.23 Indian Rupees per unit which is equivalent to Nepali Rs. 8.37.
Some 150 mw of power is being purchased from India and the import in increasing.
As trade deficit of the country is increasing, electricity prices have also contributed in it.
According to the Section, Nepal purchased highest amount of power in March, 2014, which was over 86.06 million unit and paid Rs. 436.7 million to the Indian Electricity Board of Bihar in that month.
The purchase has also increased the deficit of the NEA as it buys power in high price and sells in low price.
As per various treaties between Nepal and India, India has provided Nepal some 70 million units of power free of charge. Although it is found free from December to May, it costs IRs. 3.75 in the rest seven months.
Nepal has been importing power from India through Biratnagar, Birgunj, Nepalgunj and Mahakali. It is because there is no reliable transmission line, said the NEA.
If the under-construction Dhalkebar- Mujaffarpur transmission line is completed in time, this problem is expected to be resolved to some extent.
NEA said more than 50 mw is bought in trade price and less than that is bought in normal price. As we import in dry season, we have to pay in trade price and have to pay more, said Section Chief Pankaj Shrestha.
As no other projects except for Kulekhani- 1 and 2 are based on run-off-the river, Nepal has to import more power in winter.
As there is no balance in demand and supply, the load shedding hour fluctuates and now there is a general load shedding for 12 hours.
There is lack of transmission line to reach power produced in summer and it is so to distribute that bought from India as well. There is also a need of repair and construction of internal transmission lines.
Source : RSS