Sino-Sagarmatha agrees to build 132kV power line

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    wpid-powerlines.jpegKATHMANDU, DEC 22 – The Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Sino-Sagarmatha Hydropower to build a 132 kV single-circuit transmission line from Bhulbhule to the Marsyangdi corridor.

    The 20-km power line will evacuate the energy generated by the Upper Marsyangdi-A Hydropower Project. Sino-Sagarmatha is also the contractor for the 50 MW Upper Marsyangdi-A project.

    “As per the MoU, Sino-Sagarmatha will be responsible for evacuating the energy generated,” said Mukesh Kafle, managing director of the NEA. He added that activities like land acquisition had been going on at a fast pace.

    As per the power purchase agreement (PPA) signed with the NEA, the project will start supplying power to the national grid by December 2016. More than 60 percent of the construction work has been completed, and it is very likely that the project will be finished ahead of schedule, the NEA said.

    The accord signed between the NEA and Sino-Sagarmatha stipulates that if the power utility fails to build a transmission line by December 2016 and the electricity generated by the plant is wasted, it will have to pay a monthly compensation of Rs 150 million to the project developer.

    The government expects the Marsyangdi Corridor 220 kV Transmission Line to evacuate approximately 1,000 MW of power generated by different hydropower stations in the Marsyangdi Corridor. The 115-km double circuit transmission line will extend from Manag (Dharapani) to Khudi HUB (32 km), Khudi to Markichok (53 km) and Markichok to Bharatpur (30 km).

    Substations with 220, 132 and 33 kV capacities will be built at Dharapani, Khudi, Udipur, Markichok and a bay extension will be set up at Bharatpur Substation. The project is estimated to cost $100 million, and it will be funded by the Asian Development Bank and the Government of Nepal.

    Kafle said that since this proposed 220 kV transmission line which is intended to evacuate power from the Upper Marsyangdi-A is slated to be completed only

    by 2018-19, the NEA was rushing to develop a separate transmission line so that the power generated in the corridor before that date would not be wasted.

    “Failure to evacuate power after a project comes online will cause losses to us in two ways. First, the NEA will have to pay out a huge amount of compensation. Second, the electricity generated will be wasted. This is why we have asked the developer to construct a separate transmission line,” said Kafle.

    Sino-Sagarmatha will bankroll the power line project which is expected to cost Rs 250 million. According to Kafle, the NEA will not have to spend any money on it.

    “We had to hold long negotiations. Finally, the company agreed to build the transmission line on its own,” Kafle said. As per the agreement, the NEA will only conduct the task of land acquisition and provide some technical support, he added.

    With the MoU in place, the NEA is planning to complete the transmission line within a year. Kafle said that it would be finished on schedule if there were no problems with acquiring land and obtaining a permit to clear forest land.

    Source : The Kathmandu Post