Nepal | July 10, 2020

NEA plans to connect all districts to national grid

Himalayan News Service
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Kathmandu, August 18

Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has stated that it will provide electricity through the national grid to all the households across the country within two years.

Speaking at the 34th anniversary of the power utility, Kul Man Ghising, managing director of NEA, said that they have made a clear plan for the electrification of all the districts through national grid connectivity.

He further said that the power utility was able to supply electricity in Manang, Solukhumbu, Bajhang and Darchula district headquarters through national grid transmission line last year. “We have plans to connect the national grid to Rukum East, Kalikot, Bajura and Jumla districts in the ongoing fiscal year,” Ghising said, adding that NEA has plans to connect Mugu, Dolpa and Humla districts to the national grid within two years.

For the purpose, the government has already started roping in development partners to fulfil its aim to expand electricity access to every household in the country.

Even though electrification in the country dates back 104 years, nearly 10 per cent of the households still lack access to electricity and 21 per cent of people are still not able to access the national grid.

As per NEA, the government is seeking loans and grant assistance from the World Bank (WB), Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) to fund the electrification in some of the provinces.

The power utility has already signed an agreement worth $40 million with WB last month to electrify Province 3. Similarly, it is in the final stage of inking an agreement with the ADB for Province 2, although the assistance amount is yet to be fixed.

Moreover, the government is planning to sign an agreement worth $100 million with AIIB for electrification of Province 5, Karnali Province and Sudur Paschim Province. However, Province 1 and Gandaki Province will be electrified utilising local resources.

With an aim to balance the quantum of electricity being supplied, NEA will start to construct the 1,060-megawatt Upper Arun and 635MW Dudhkoshi reservoir hydropower projects within the current fiscal year, Ghising informed.

The power utility has also established federal offices across all seven provinces. From this fiscal, provincial offices will maintain separate accounts and report to the central office. “From next year, we will maintain separate income and expense statements of all provinces,” he said.

Speaking at the programme, Minister for Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation, Barsha Man Pun, said that the government is committed to utilising all the electricity that will be produced by the independent power producers and NEA’s projects in the coming year. “If we are unable to make a proper plan, the generated electricity will go to waste. So, the government is developing a framework for the utilisation of electricity, which will be unveiled soon.”

“The amount of electricity that we have been generating has been  increasing with each passing year and now we need to develop a proper plan for utilisation of that electricity in the domestic market and also for the export of surplus energy to neighbouring countries,” Pun mentioned, adding that the talks that the government is holding with neighbouring countries to export surplus electricity have been positive.

“We plan to make NEA the number one public enterprise soon.”

A version of this article appears in print on August 19, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.

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