Sans transmission line, Mai Hydropower’s energy going to waste

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    mai hydro headworksKATHMANDU, Jan 26 : Mai Hydropower Project in Ilam has not been able to generate electricity despite conducting all required tests after completion of construction works in December last year because of the delay in construction of transmission line.

    Officials of Sanima Mai Hydropower Limited, which developed the project, said the project of 22-megawatt (MW) installed capacity can generate 8 MW at present. But they don´t know when they will be able to connect energy generated by the project to national grid.

    Officials of Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) had told members of Water and Resources Committee (WRC) of legislature-parliament on October 20 that they would complete construction of 132 kV Kabeli Corridor transmission line up to Godak or provide alternative connection for power evacuation by December 25. But they failed to live up to the commitment.

    When Republica questioned Kanhaiya Manandhar, chief of NEA´s Directorate of Transmission Line, why they failed to translate into action what they had committed, he said that works were currently underway. “We are trying to find an alternative arrangement so that the power generated by the project can be evacuated,” he said. He, however, did not say when the alternative arrangement — the Godak Puwa transmission line — will be ready.

    Manandhar was among the officials who told the parliamentary committee meeting on October 20 that the transmission line project would complete in two months.

    Subarna Das Shrestha, director of Sanima Mai Hydropower, said they completed all necessary tests in the second week of December itself. “We are not in a position to tell when we will be able to begin commercial generation,” Shrestha said.

    The Kabeli Corridor Transmission Line Project had faced problem in land acquisition in the initial phase only. Officials of Sanima Mai Hydropower said the project´s work is moving ahead in a slow pace and that NEA officials were not serious about timely completion of the project.

    The transmission line project is being developed targeting load centers in the eastern development region.

    Mai Hydropower Project, which is promoted by Non-Resident Nepalis, annually generates 128,298 GWh of electricity worth Rs 650 million.

    Gagan Thapa, chairman of WRC, said they were monitoring the progress of the transmission line project. “We have found officials of Ministry of Energy (MoE) and NEA unresponsive. They have failed to keep their word. It is serious,” he said, adding that the committee will soon invite MoE and NEA officials and ask them why the project is moving at a slow pace.

    The committee had asked officials of the transmission line project to submit progress report three days ago.

    Source : Republica