Power demand in Valley halves post-quake


    KATHMANDU, MAY 23 – Electricity demand in the Kathmandu valley has dropped significantly after the April 25 earthquake, easing pressure at the Load Dispatch Centre of Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA).

    The power demand has almost halved, NEA said, due to which there has been little load-shedding in the valley. “The demand in Kathmandu has dropped by 200-250MW a day from of 350-400MW,” said Bhuwan Chhetri, chief of the Load Dispatch Centre.

    NEA, however, says the demand from outside the valley has not been affected, which is evident with the fact that the overall daily demand stands at 1,000MW, against 1250MW during normal time.

    NEA said there has been a significant drop in household consumption in the valley as a result of mass exodus of the people. Also, people are still living outside their house setting up tents, resulting in low consumption, it said.

    The April 25 Great Earthquake and subsequent big and small aftershocks have compelled a huge number of people in the valley to spend their nights outside in open spaces. “For example, during normal times, a single household would use at least 10 electric bulbs. Appliances like televisions, computers would be operational,” Chhetri said. “With people living outside, the consumption has dropped.”

    No revision to load-shedding schedule’

    The Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) on Friday said it has no immediate plans to revise the load-shedding schedule. With the monsoon setting in, NEA is ready to operate the 90MW Kulekhani Hydropower Project, the only storage type project of the country. “We are ready to operate the plant. But since there is a shortfall in generation from a number of hydropower projects in earthquake-hit districts, we will have to think about rescheduling the power outage hours,” said Bhuwan Chhetri, chief of NEA’s load dispatch centre. NEA Managing Director Mukesh Raj Kafle has said around 103MW energy supplied by Independent Power Producers has been halted. Projects in districts like Dolakha, Sindhupalchowk, Ramechhap, Gorkha, Dhading, Nuwakot and Rasuwa, have suffered huge losses. NEA had last revised the load-shedding schedule on April 25, when the Great Quake struck Nepal. As per the schedule, households in Kathmandu would face power outrage from six to eight hours a day. But it has not been implemented. (PR)

    The government has estimated that around 1 million people left the valley after the quake. Although there aren’t big industries in the valley, shuttered shopping complexes, multiplexes and cinema theatres, restaurants, and several small and cottage as well as medium scale industries, among others, too resulted in the decrease in the demand.

    Following the significant drop in the demand, NEA has hardly cut power in the valley.

    Source : ekantipur