KATHMANDU, SEP 05 –
At a time when there is lots of frustration with the protracted energy crisis in the country, it has been revealed that the government wasted energy worth as much as Rs 420m in the 2012-13 fiscal year.
Amid all government agencies associated with energy development going through parleys and inventing measures to curb the energy crisis, the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) suffered spill over of around 50m units due to a lack of transmission lines.
“The already financially shaken institution suffered a sum of Rs 420m alone due to the failure to extend sufficient length of power lines, which hindered it to dispatch generated energy from several projects to the national grid,” said Bhuwan Chettri, chief of Load Dispatch Center (LDC) at NEA.
He said NEA suffered the loss due to the delay in construction and subsequent incompletion of three power line projects, including Khimti- Dhalkebar (220kv), Suchayatar-Matathirtha-Kulekhani – 2 (132kv) and Bharatpur-Hetaunda (220kv).
After the projects could not come to operation, energy generated from hydro power projects like Kaligandaki, Marysandi, Madhya Marsyandi, Trishuli, Chilime, Indrawati and Spring Khola (10MW) could not be connected to the national grid.
“Even though NEA tried to purchase entire energy generated from independent power producers, energy from these projects could not be supplied to the market,” said Chettri, adding, “Energy wasted from NEA projects have not been included here.”
Officials at the NEA estimate that the energy spill over would be around 50MW in the current fiscal year.
According to LDC at NEA, it recorded energy spills worth over 14m units, tantamount to Rs 120m during the first month of the current fiscal year mid-July to mid-August.
Though the recent Three Year National Plan has aimed at extending power lines by more 408km across the country, the NEA has not added a single km.
“Most of the transmission line projects could not be initiated, and even the under construction projects could not be proceeded ahead smoothly, mainly due to the obstructions of locals in course of acquiring land,” said Puspa Raj Khadka, chief of Grid Development Division, NEA.
Keeping in view the utmost need for expanding power lines in the country, the budget for the current fiscal year has allotted Rs 13.5bn for constructing 456 km of power lines. NEA officials suspect that the money will not solve all issues.
“Money is not the primary issue in the development of power lines as there is no situation for spending money,” said an official, “The government should find solutions to the obstructions posed by locals, Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Forest.”
Independent power producers said the lack of transmission lines has been the major detrimental factor in the development of hydropower projects in the country. “The government says it is serious to curb the power woes, however it does not seem serious towards addressing this burning issue,” said Subarna Das Shrestha, president of Independent Power Producers’ Association Nepal (IPPAN).
He said the absence of power lines has hit the hydro projects that are under construction in eastern regions most. Six projects with a collective capacity of 72MW are in a different phase of construction in the Kabeli corridor. “The contract to construct power lines in this corridor had been awarded two years ago but the land acquisition has not even been completed so far,” he said, adding, “All of these projects will come to commercial operation within two years, but the Kabeli corridor is less likely to be completed by then.”
He also said 11 projects, having a joint capacity of 50MW, will come to operation within the current fiscal year, yet all of them do not have transmission line facilities.
Meanwhile, the NEA has halted signing a power purchase agreement (PPA) with power developers, citing its inability to construct transmission lines. Independent power producers have blamed the NEA for not signing the PPA, with around 50 projects having collective capacity of around 1,000MW.
Source : The Kathmandu Post