Nepal | September 21, 2020

Sugar mills to generate 8 MW electricity this fiscal year

Himalayan News Service
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Kathmandu, September 18

In a novel development to ease the power shortage that the country faces during the dry season, three sugar mills have made plans to generate and supply eight megawatts of electricity to the national grid from this fiscal year.

“We are almost ready to instal the necessary equipment to connect the electricity produced in our sugar mills to the national grid,” informed Shashi Kanta Agrawal, proprietor of Everest Sugar and Chemical Industry and president of Nepal Sugar Producers Association. “If everything goes as planned, we should be able to complete the works within six months.”

There have been talks of sugar mills generating electricity since long, but it is only now that concrete steps have been taken for the purpose and the plans are going to be materialised.

According to Agrawal, the sugar mills that have acquired electricity generation licence will generate eight megawatts of electricity during the process of crushing sugarcane. As per plans, Everest Sugar and Chemical Industry and Indu Shanker Sugar Mills will each generate three megawatts of electricity and two megawatts will be produced by Reliance Sugar and Chemical Industries.

“We are going to sign a power purchase agreement with Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) within a week. In fact, we already have an agreement with NEA to provide support in installing the necessary equipment,” Agrawal added.

At present, there are 13 sugar mills in operation in the country. “If the government supports us, we are ready to generate 40 megawatts of electricity through our mills by next fiscal year,” he stated.

The Economic and Infrastructure Committee of the Cabinet had decided to give permission to sugar mills to generate electricity in May 2015. As per the Cabinet decision, the Department of Electricity Development (DoED) had asked interested sugar mills to submit their applications in April 2016.

Altogether seven sugar mills had submitted applications to DoED to generate electricity, among which the three aforementioned sugar mills had been selected.

The sugar mills will generate power by utilising ‘bagasse’ (cane pulp), which is an industrial waste produced when manufacturing sugar.

The government had unveiled Energy Emergency Action Plan in 2016, according to which it would conduct resource mapping and link identified resources of energy with the national transmission lines.

A version of this article appears in print on September 19, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.

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