Kathmandu, October 15
Nepal and India have finalised the construction modality of 400 kVA New Butwal-Gorakhpur cross-border transmission line. A two-day Nepal-India energy secretary-level talks held in the southern Indian city of Bangalore decided to build the project with 50-50 equity.
Both the countries will form a joint company to develop the project within six months, informed Kul Man Ghising, managing director of Nepal Electricity Authority, who had participated in the meeting.
According to Ghising, 80 per cent of the project cost will be financed through loans, while the Nepali and Indian governments will chip in the remaining 10 per cent each.
As the two countries had been unable to finalise the construction of the transmission line project, it had affected the implementation of the US government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation assistance to Nepal. The Millennium Challenge Account Nepal has already decided the project implementation date from June 30, 2020.
“We have reached an agreement to complete the transmission line project within three years of forming the joint government-to-government company,” Ghising added.
While Nepal and India have already inked an agreement on energy banking, the Indian authorities during the joint steering committee (JSC) meeting today agreed to make necessary changes in its power trade directives as soon as possible to open up energy banking with Nepal. Similarly, India has agreed to do the needful to allow Nepal to enter its power exchange market.
Moreover, the JSC meeting has agreed to upgrade two 132 kVA cross-border transmission lines of Katiya-Kusaha and Raxaul-Parwanipur into double circuit capacity.
The detailed project reports of 400 kVA Lamki-Bareilly and Duhabi-Purnea cross-border transmission lines were also tabled during the meeting. The next JSC meeting that will be held in Nepal may finalise the DPRs of the aforesaid projects.
Dinesh Kumar Ghimire, secretary at the Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation, had led the Nepali delegation, whereas his counterpart Subhash Chandra Garg had headed the Indian team during the meeting today.
On Monday, the joint secretary-level joint working group (JWG) meeting had finalised the agendas that were present during the JSC meeting today. Prabin Aryal, joint secretary at MoEWRI, had led yesterday’s JWG meeting. Of the total 140-km-long New Butwal-Gorakhpur cross-border transmission line, 20 km falls in Nepal’s territory and remaining 120 km lies in the Indian territory.
A version of this article appears in print on October 16, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.