Govt to allow IPPs to use New Butwal-Gorakhpur transmission line
Interested private power developers will have to pay wheeling charge to NEA for the facility
Kathmandu, October 24
Eyeing to capitalise on the yet to be constructed high-voltage 400-kVA cross-border transmission line between Nepal and India, the government is preparing to allow private sector developers to ‘book’ New Butwal-Gorakhpur transmission line.
This basically means that the private developers will be able to use the line after its construction by paying wheeling charge to Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA).
Dinesh Kumar Ghimire, secretary at the Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation, said that as the construction modality has been finalised recently, the ministry is planning to issue new cross-border power transmission guideline for NEA and private power developers to make the project more economically and commercially viable.
As per Ghimire, the government will soon summon private sector developers for discussion on sharing the transmission line. NEA has ‘booked’ the transmission line for 25 years after it comes into operation.
“NEA and private power developers now need to expedite their project development works as we will be able to export Nepal’s electricity to India and Bangladesh after the new cross-border transmission line comes into operation.”
During the recent energy secretary-level joint steering committee meeting, the Indian government had expressed keen interest to buy huge quantum of hydro electricity from Nepal in the near future, he informed.
On October 15, Nepal and India had agreed to build the high-voltage cross-border transmission line, which will facilitate energy trade with India as well as Bangladesh.
Both the nations have varying demands for power throughout the year and the new transmission line will help in trading energy as per the requirement. The other high-voltage 400-kVA cross-border Dhalkebar-Muzaffarpur transmission line is already operating.
Shailendra Guragain, president of Independent Power Producers’ Association, Nepal (IPPAN), said private developers will definitely participate in the booking of the cross-border transmission line.
“We believe that at least 10 to 12 such high-voltage cross-border transmission lines should be installed to export the country’s electricity during power surplus.”
Guragain further said that the government should push for a trilateral agreement for connecting the power grids between Nepal, India and Bangladesh.
A few months ago, private power developers had established ‘Nepal Power Exchange Ltd’. The independent power producers (IPPs) aim to supply power generated by private developers in the domestic market as well as export electricity to neighbouring countries like India and Bangladesh through the power trading company.
Guragain said that allowing private developers to book the new cross-border transmission line will give them an additional option for power trade with India and Bangladesh.