Studies on cross-border transmission lines planned

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    KAHTMANDU: A joint technical team of Nepal and India will soon conduct studies on development and management of cross-border transmission lines to facilitate import and export of electricity between the two neighbouring countries.

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    The team will comprise two representatives each from Nepal Electricity Authority, Central Electricity Authority of India and Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd, according to sources at the Ministry of Energy (MoE).

    The team will conduct short- and long-term studies on points from where transmission lines of the two countries could be linked. The team will also take into account locations where export-oriented hydro projects could be developed and areas that may have to import power from India due to rise in population or number of industries.

    “We will start carrying out these studies as soon as we receive an official letter from MoE,” NEA Transmission Chief Kanhaiya Kumar Manandhar said.

    A decision to conduct these studies was taken during Nepal-India meetings of secretary-level joint steering committee and joint secretary-level joint working group held in India last month.

    The steering committee and working group were formed as per the provision in the power trade agreement signed by Nepal and India in October, which has paved the way for the two countries to freely buy and sell electricity, and extend cooperation in development of cross-border transmission lines.

    With the signing of the power trade pact, Nepal has the opportunity to make power cuts a history, since it can import as much electricity as it needs until it can meet its load demand. But it has not been able to reap benefit from this facility due to lack of cross-border transmission lines.

    Currently, around 13 cross-border transmission lines are being used to import electricity from India, of which three are of 132 kV and the remaining are 33 kV lines.

    Using these, Nepal can import up to 380 megawatts of electricity, although the country has currently been bringing in less than 200 MW of power due to incapacity of substations in the Indian side.

    “We hope the studies will help us identify strategic locations where transmission lines could be linked,” Manandhar said, adding, “These studies will solely focus on cross-border interconnection of transmission lines and will not overlap studies being conducted to prepare a masterplan on domestic transmission system.”

    The works on development of transmission lines are moving ahead at painfully slow pace. Last fiscal year, for instance, the country was not able to expand a single kilometre of transmission line.

    Source :  The Himalayan Times