NEA plans North-South power lines within 10 yrs

Kathmandu, March 25:

The government has come up with plans to construct north-south corridor transmission lines in nine major river basins and corridors, upgrade the existing east-west national power grid from 132 KV to 400 KV and connect the national grid with India within 10 years.

The cabinet meeting on March 18 decided to construct 845 km main transmission line for which it has earmarked Rs 2.25 billion. The main transmission lines of 400 KV from Hetauda-Dhalke, Dhalke-Duhabi and Hetauda-Butwal are targeted to complete within three years. While the Butwal-Lamki, Lamki-Mahendranagar and Duhabi-Anarmani lines are slated to complete by 2019.

Once these corridor transmission lines are constructed, more investments in hydropower sector can be expected from the private sector, which has not been able to invest in northern parts of the country. Though hydro power potential is more in northern parts of the country, investors are not making much investment there because of the lack of transmission lines.

The government has also earmarked Rs 1.11 billion to construct three main corridors — Koshi Corridor (Basantapur-Kusaha), Khimti-Kathmandu, and Kali Gandaki (Parbat-Butwal-Bardaghat).

A total of 295 km transmission corridor would be completed in next five years.

The government, while announcing national energy crisis in November, had included programmes to construct three transmission lines of 220 KV from Bardaghat to Bharatpur, Marsyangdi to Kathmandu, and Bharatpur to Hetauda. The decision also includes constructing five transmission corridors of 132 KV in Kali Gandaki, Kareli, Singati, Sunkoshi and Dhankuta.

“The construction of transmission lines and transmission corridors is one of the three programmes added to the 35 programmes introduced to address the current state of energy crisis and manage soaring demands under ‘National Energy Crisis Working-Plan’,” said Anup Kumar Upadhyay, spokesperson for the Ministry of Water Resources.

Other two programmes are to provide subsidy on solar energy in urban centres and utilise electricity generated from private-sector captive plants.