NEA conducts final tests on new Nepal-India transmission line
Kathmandu, February 19
Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has started conducting final tests on Nepal-India Dhalkebar-Muzaffarpur transmission line, the biggest cross-border transmission line project.
The state-owned power utility had started conducting tests on the new transmission line from Wednesday. Initially, five to 15 megawatts of power was imported from India to test the line.
“Since last night, we have been conducting tests by bringing in 70MW to 75MW of electricity,” said a senior NEA official on condition of anonymity, adding, “So far, everything is moving smoothly.”
These tests are being conducted to ensure no technical glitches are observed during formal inauguration of the Dhalkebar-Muzaffarpur transmission line.
On Saturday, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and Indian Premier Narendra Modi are expected to switch on the transmission line by using a remote control from Hyderabad House in New Delhi to inaugurate Dhalkebar-Muzaffarpur transmission line.
Following this, India will start supplying up to 80MW of electricity to Nepal.
Earlier on Monday, NEA Managing Director Mukesh Raj Kafle and General Manager of India’s state-owned NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam (NVVN), AK Maggu, had signed an agreement on supply of power to Nepal. As per the agreement, NVVN will sell electricity to NEA, round the clock, at INR 3.44 (Rs 5.504) per unit.
The 140-km Dhalkebar-Muzaffarpur transmission line project, which extends from Dhalkebar in Nepal to Muzaffarpur in India, can handle capacity of up to 400kV.
But the cross-border transmission line, construction of which began as early as January 2007, is initially being charged at 132kV.
NEA plans to upgrade the capacity of the line to 220kV in the next five to six months. After this, Nepal can import additional 200MW of electricity from India.
The line is expected to be charged at full capacity of 400kV by September 2017. After this, Nepal can import 600MW of electricity from India.
Once this line is fully charged, Nepal will not only be able to import electricity but export power when there is a surplus.
Nepal is eyeing generation of 13,700MW of electricity within 2025 and 44,000MW of electricity within 2035.
Of this quantum of electricity, 12,000MW can be exported within 2025 and 24,000MW can be exported within 2035.
To export this power, a Nepal-India technical committee has proposed development of six 400kV cross-border transmission lines. They are: Attariya-Uttarakhand, Lamki-Bareli, Kohalpur-Rupaidiha, Butwal-Gorakhpur, Muzaffarpur-Dhalkebar (Second Line) and Inaruwa-Bihar.
Of these lines, construction of Butwal-Gorakhpur, Muzaffarpur-Dhalkebar (Second Line), and Lamki-Bareli is scheduled to be completed within 2022.
Development of Butwal-Gorakhpur transmission line will help in export of electricity generated by 600MW Upper Marsyangdi-2 hydroelectric project to India.
Similarly, second Muzaffarpur-Dhalkebar transmission line will help in evacuation of power generated by 900MW Arun-3 hydroelectric project, while Lamki-Bareli transmission line will help in export of electricity generated by 900MW Upper Karnali hydroelectric project.