Process to name National Transmission Grid Company chief executive begins

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    The Energy Ministry has moved to name a chief executive officer (CEO) for National Transmission Grid Company (NTGC) in a bid to revive it from its moribund state. NTGC has remained inactive since it was established more than a year ago for lack of a chief.

    On September 1, a board meeting of the company formed a three-member committee under the coordination of Kewal Prasad Bhandari, joint financial comptroller general of the Financial Comptroller General’s Office, to appoint a CEO through free competition. The other members of the panel are Koshal Chandra Subedi, joint secretary, and Gokarna Raj Panta, senior divisional engineer, of the Energy Ministry.

    Currently, the committee has been finalising the CEO’s terms of reference. “We are studying the terms of reference of different public enterprises to prepare one for NTGC,” said Bhandari. “We will take a week to finalise the terms of reference and design the selection criteria.”

    After finalising the terms of reference and selection criteria, the committee will publish a notice inviting applications from interested candidates.

    “We will most probably ask the applicants to sit for a written test and make a presentation of their work plan,” said Subedi. “Then we will submit the names of three hopefuls to the Energy Ministry.” NTGC should get a new CEO within a couple of months, he added.

    The government established NTGC in February 2015 in a bid to form a separate entity to develop and operate electricity transmission lines, but the company has remained immobile due to lack of an executive head.

    The establishment of NTGC was the first step in the much touted unbundling of state-owned Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA). The unbundling plan envisages setting up three separate companies for generation, transmission and distribution of electricity.

    According to Subedi, NTGC will be solely responsible for erecting new transmission lines throughout the country, and it will work congruently with the NEA. Delays in the construction of power lines have affected many hydropower projects and a separate transmission company was expected to take a large load off the NEA’s shoulders. Nine government agencies, namely the Energy, Finance, Forest, Environment, Land Reform, Communications, Defence and Home ministries and the NEA have stakes in NTGC.

    After NTGC goes into full-fledged operation, the government will form two other companies for electricity generation and distribution. The ministry is planning to transfer human resources from the NEA to these companies gradually and ultimately complete the unbundling of the authority. “An immediate unbundling of the NEA might lead to chaos, so the government has been creating separate companies gradually,” said Subedi.

    Source : The Kathmandu Post