Nepal | July 15, 2020

Electricity demand up as factories resume operation

Himalayan News Service
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KATHMANDU, MAY 31

After the government decided to allow the operation of 44 types of industries from April 10, electricity consumption has been gradually returning to normal.

According to Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), the normal peak hour demand, which was around 1,200 megawatts before the lockdown, has now reached 1,100 MW. Similarly, daily consumption has now reached more than 20,000 MW hours (MWh). Before the lockdown, the daily consumption was 21,000 MWh.

However, energy consumption is still 5,000 MWh less than what it was the same time last year when it stood at 25,000 MWh. NEA had projected the demand to be 28,000 MW this year, but the lockdown has massively hit its projection.

The power utility had already started facing a financial crisis after power consumption started declining due to the lockdown imposed from March 24. The government finally decided to allow industries and businesses in certain sectors to resume operations after a month-and-a-half after which electricity demand has started increasing.

NEA Spokesperson Prabal Adhikari said that the demand for electricity has reached 1,100 MW now at peak hours.

Due to the lockdown imposed by the government to control the spread of the coronavirus the demand for electricity had reduced to 900 MW even during peak hours when all industries were shut down.

Average electricity demand also dropped to 650 MW while the power consumption during the night dropped to 400 MW.

NEA has said demand has started rising recently also due to the power being used to operate electric appliances like fans and air conditioners along with the increase in heat in Nepal since about a week.

Adhikari, however, said the main reason for electricity demand rising is resumption of industries. Consumption has increased recently by 200 MW as industries like cement manufacturing factories which consume more electricity have resumed operation.

“All industries consume nearly 300 MW to 400 MW of electricity,” he added.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on June 1, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.

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