220 kV Dhalkebar substation completed

Kathmandu, July 15

Almost two-and-a-half years after the scheduled deadline, the 220 kV substation of Dhalkebar has been finally completed, which will ensure reliable power trade between Nepal and India. This substation is one of the components of Dhalkebar-Muzaffarpur cross-border transmission line, which was supposed to be completed by September, 2015. However, gross negligence from Chinese contractor delayed the project.

The substation project supported by the World Bank Group was delayed for long as the Chinese contractor - Central China Power Grid International Economic and Trade Co Ltd - had intentionally delayed the works blackmailing Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) for compensation after NEA suspended the contractor from the Bharatpur-Bardaghat transmission line project in western Nepal.

Later, towards the end of 2017, NEA had terminated the contract of the Chinese company for the Dhalkebar substation too and awarded the bid to Telmos Electronics, India.

NEA had earlier been importing power from India through a temporary substation that was established after leasing transformers from India as a temporary vehicle for electricity import. NEA has an agreement with NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam of India to import 145 megawatts of round-the-clock energy and the current import stands at around 100 megawatts. However, the temporary arrangement lacked adequate protection and witnessed fluctuations in voltage and tripping.

According to Prabal Adhikari, spokesperson for NEA, transformers installed in substation have already been charged and substation is ready to transmit power. Power trade of up to 1,000 megawatts is viable via the Dhalkebar-Muzaffarpur transmission line along with completion of the substation. NEA has plans to upgrade the Dhalkebar substation to 400 kV capacity.