KATHMANDU, April 16: The government has decided to transfer the license for development and management of the Dhalkebar-Muzaffarpur 400 kV cross-border transmission line to Power Transmission Company of Nepal (PTCN) from Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA).
“The Ministry of Finance (MoF) has given its nod for the hand over of the license,” a high-level official at the Ministry of Energy (MoE) told Republica.
Earlier, NEA had bagged the license from the government to develop the transmission line. The PTCN is a subsidiary of NEA that was set up mainly to develop the 400 kV cross border transmission line.
The transmission line, which is supposed to be developed with loan assistance from the Exim Bank of India, is expected to facilitate power trade between the two countries. The transmission line will be 140 kilometers long and 40 kilometers section, from Dhalkebar to Bhittamod, will lie in Nepal.
Nepal and India had signed a memorandum of understanding in 2009 to develop the project in fast track mode. NEA had signed the MoU with three Indian stakeholders — Power Trading Corporation (PTC), Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS) and Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd (PGCIL).
As per the agreement, Nepal and India are to lay the transmission line in their respective countries with loan assistance from the Exim Bank of India. But the Exim Bank has yet to release the loan pledged to Nepal.
Similarly, the two countries also plan to lay other two cross-border transmission lines — 112 km 400 kV Duhabi-Purnia and 125 km 400 kV Butwal-Gorakhpur.
According to NEA officials approximately 22 km section of the Duhabi-Purnia transmission line lies in Nepali territory and around 90 km section lies in India. Similarly, approximately, 25 km section of the Butwal-Gorakhpur transmission line falls under Nepali territory and the remaining 100 km section in India.
However, the Ministry of Energy — the body entity to look after the energy sector of the country, has yet to approve the hand over of license from the NEA to PTCN. “MoE is also prepared to give its nod to the handover of the license of Dhalkebar-Muzaffarpur transmission line to PTCN,” the official at the MoE said. “However, a formal decision has yet to be made.”
Source : Republica /Bhoj Raj Poudel