Nepal to seek more energy from India

Kathmandu, January 22

Due to an increase in the domestic electricity demand, Nepal will again formally propose to India for import of more electricity from the southern neighbour. In the two-day meeting of Nepal-India energy secretary-level talks, also called the Joint Steering Committee (JSC) meeting, under the power trade agreement to be held from Wednesday, Nepal will list out the proposal for importing more electricity, among other issues.

The meeting is scheduled to be held in Pokhara.

According to Dinesh Kumar Ghimire, secretary at the Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation (MoEWRI), the government will propose for an increment in the quantum of energy imported from India as the country is unable to fulfil the rising domestic demand. At present, Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has been importing 521 megawatts of energy from India.

The Nepali delegation will be led by Secretary Ghimire and the Indian team will be led by Ajay Kumar Bhalla, secretary, Ministry of Power, India.

According to Prabin Aryal, spokesperson for MoEWRI, the meeting is scheduled to review the construction modality of the Butwal-Gorakhpur cross-border transmission line that is being jointly constructed by NEA and Central Electricity Authority of India. Moreover, the meeting

will also hold discussions on the existing agreement and finalise the construction modality of the aforementioned cross-border transmission line.

Aryal further said that India has shown keen interest in constructing the Butwal-Gorakhpur transmission line and assured to pay the total construction cost.

Moreover, the meeting will finalise the existing agreement on energy banking.

Likewise, the JSC meeting will also discuss on two other cross-border transmission lines — Duhabi-Purnia and Lamki-Bareilly — that are included in the energy master plan agreed between the two countries. The JSC meeting will review the work progress of the 900-megawatt Arun III hydropower project and discuss about construction of the 900-MW Upper Karnali hydropower project too.

The meeting will also review the study report of 132 kVA and 33 kVA transmission lines in Dhangadhi, Nepalgunj and Bhairahawa.

Aryal further said that the meeting also plans to review the work progress of another 50 kV transformer being set up at Tanakpur substation for import of an additional 50 megawatts of power from India. At present, Nepal has been importing 30 megawatts of power through the Tanakpur substation.

The meeting is also scheduled to review the work progress regarding the upgradation of the single-circuit Kataiya-Kusaha and Raxaul-Parwanipur transmission lines to double-circuit lines under the grant aid of the Indian government.

Meanwhile, prior to the JSC meeting, an energy joint secretary-level joint working group meeting will be conducted that will finalise the agendas for the JSC meeting.