‘Robust transmission and distribution system must for reliable supply’

Kathmandu, March 15

Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) — the sole power off-taker of the country — has said that a robust transmission and distribution system is the need of the hour for reliable power supply.

Speaking at an interaction programme organised by Energy Development Council (EDC), Kulman Ghising, managing director of the power utility, said that NEA has given top priority to instal double circuit high capacity transmission network to enhance the quality of power supply. As part of its strategy to optimise the energy grid, NEA has identified and planned six cross-border interconnection corridors and 11 transmission lines, with a proposed 22,000 MW generation within 2035.

A review is in process and will study the requirements and feasibility of major transmission projects such as East-West transmission highway of 400 kV and 765 kV, Mid-hill transmission corridors of 400 and 220 kV and North-South corridors of 220 and 400 kV, according to NEA.

Independent power producers (IPPs) also put forward issues on the discrimination by NEA while evacuating power. The compensation rate is different for different hydro projects, with some getting 45 per cent and some 90 per cent. NEA has to be transparent and treat all power producer companies equally when dealing with power producer companies, they said and further asked why NEA cannot evacuate power timely.

There is a special provision for transmission line for foreign producers but not for national producers and that needs to end, said IPPs.

Atma Ram Ghimire, MD of Liberty Energy Co Ltd, stressed the need for a stable policy and more coherent approach from NEA. He gave an example where construction of double circuit instead of a single circuit transmission line could evacuate more energy and avoid duplication. “So, NEA has to synchronise the effort and have better coordination.”

He further said that IPPs are ready to adopt BOOT model or even take the responsibility for land acquisition and procurement if NEA allows them to do so. He said that IPPs are ready to adopt any favourable modality and are open to help NEA build transmission lines.