India agrees to sell additional 100 MW power
Kathmandu, January 23
The Indian government has agreed to provide additional 50 to 100 megawatts of electricity to Nepal to meet the growing energy need of its neighbouring country.
India had agreed to sell more electricity to Nepal during the ongoing Nepal-India energy secretary-level talks, also called the Joint Steering Committee (JSC) meeting, in Pokhara. The issue was raised during the joint secretary level joint working group (JWG) meeting held today. The JWG has agreed to forward Nepal’s proposal to the JSC meeting scheduled for tomorrow.
“The Indian government has agreed to provide additional 50-100 megawatts of electricity to Nepal from Tanakpur and Dhalkebar cross-border transmission lines,” a high-level government source told The Himalayan Times. “The JSC meeting will finalise the additional quantum of electricity that India will sell to Nepal.”
At present, state-owned Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) is importing 521 megawatts of energy from India. Nepal’s peak electricity demand stands at 1,105 megawatts. This means Nepal is meeting about half of its energy needs through India’s support.
This situation will likely change once 456MW Upper Tamakoshi hydroelectric project comes online. Once this project and couple of other smaller projects start generating electricity, Nepal is expected to become an energy surplus nation during the rainy season. This will enable Nepal to export electricity during the wet season. Nepal has thus floated the concept of forming an energy bank with India to swap electricity.
The joint-secretary meeting held today has recommended that a joint technical team, comprising officials of Nepali and Indian ministries, be formed to make arrangements to push forward the concept of energy banking. The issue will be discussed during tomorrow’s JSC meeting.
The JSC meeting will be attended by the Nepali delegation led by Energy Secretary Dinesh Kumar Ghimire and the Indian team led by Ajay Kumar Bhalla, secretary of the Ministry of Power.
Tomorrow’s meeting is expected to review the construction modality of Butwal-Gorakhpur cross-border transmission line that is being built jointly by NEA and Central Electricity Authority of India. India has shown keen interest to build the cross-border transmission line and has assured to bear the total construction cost, according to the government source.
Discussions on construction of two more cross-border transmission lines — Duhabi-Purnia and Lamki-Bareilly that are included in the energy master plan of the two countries – will also be held tomorrow. Tomorrow’s meeting will also review the work progress of 900MW Arun III hydropower project and hold discussion on construction of 900MW Upper Karnali hydropower project.
The meeting will also review the study report of 132 kVA and 33 kVA transmission lines in Dhangadhi, Nepalgunj and Bhairahawa.