Nepal to import 80MW electricity from tomorrow

    407

    Feb 16, 2016- Nepal is all set to start importing an additional 80MW electricity from India from Wednesday through the newly-completed 400kV Dhalkebar-Muzaffarpur cross-border transmission line.

    Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) will import the power for the next four and half months.

    With NEA and India’s NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam settling the price for the electricity to be imported, the two sides on Monday signed a temporary power supply agreement. The agreement, signed by NEA Managing Director Mukesh Kafle and NTPC General Manager AK Maggu—will expire in June-end, subject to potential extension.

    After signing the agreement, Kafle said the import of additional power from India would give some relief to the people facing extended power outage hours.

    “It could help reduce load shedding by two hours,” said Kafle. “But we cannot be sure about it as water levels in rivers and Kulekhani Reservoir are decreasing.”

    He, however, confirmed the long shedding hours would not increase further.

    NEA will test-distribute the imported electricity for a week, which will give a clear picture of whether load shedding hours would reduce, NEA officials said. The country is currently facing 13 hours of power outage every day.

    The country’s power demand stands at 1325MW in peak hour, but only 500MW electricity is currently available (300MW domestic production and 200MW imported from India), according to NEA.

    NEA will pay Rs5.5 per unit (IRs3.44 per unit) to NTPC for the electricity to be imported. Earlier, NTPC had demanded Rs8.8 per unit. “This is the cheapest rate Nepal will be paying after 70 million units of free power the country has been receiving from India from Tanakpur as per the Mahakali Treaty,” said Sher Singh Bhat, deputy managing director of NEA.

    He said Nepal would have to pay around Rs300 million to the Indian company for importing 80MW In 2014-15, Nepal paid around Rs10 billion to India for importing electricity, according to NEA statistics.

    As the price maintained now is for the next four and half months, the rate may vary after that period if the agreement is extended.

    “The price will be determined by the demand and supply situation at that time. But we will try our best to offer best possible price to Nepal,” said NTPC’s Maggu. He expressed hope new relations established between NEA and NTPC would grow. “We are committed providing more support to Nepal as we are 45,000MW generating company,” he said.

    Energy Secretary Suman Sharma said India arranged the export of 80MW power to Nepal by installing higher capacity substation in Muzaffarpur. “We have taken it as a good gesture ahead of the planned visit of Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli to India on February 19,” he said.

    Source : The Kathmandu Post