Energy Emergency scheme to be shown to PM todayThe Ministry of Energy plans to present the working procedure for the declaration of the Energy Emergency to Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli on Tuesday.
The Ministry of Energy plans to present the working procedure for the declaration of the Energy Emergency to Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli on Tuesday. It had prepared a presentation for the Prime Minister on Monday, but it was called off at the last hour, officials said.
The proposed working procedure has laid emphasis on fast-tracking the construction of under-construction and planned hydropower projects apart from expediting reconstruction of plants damaged by last year’s earthquake, constructing at least one storage-type project and upgrading and enhancing cross-border transmission lines.
“On our part, we are ready with the action plan. We will be presenting the document to the Prime Minister and we are waiting for a call from his office,” said Energy Secretary Suman Prasad Sharma without divulging further details.
The ministry’s Deputy Spokesperson Gokarna Pant said that the presentation for the Prime Minister was being readied for Tuesday. “Based on the Prime Minister’s feedback, there will be further advancement,” Pant added.
Pant indicated that if the Prime Minister was satisfied with the presentation and gives the go-ahead, the working procedure will be sent to the Cabinet for its endorsement this week.
Addressing an interaction on Sunday, Energy Minister Top Bahadur Rayamajhi too had said that the ministry would take the action plan to the Cabinet this week.
The theme of the Energy Emergency is “Energy Crisis Elimination Decade”, according to Energy Ministry sources. The government plans to boost electricity generation to 10,000 MW in the next 10 years. Though the action plan has several items on the agenda like eliminating load-shedding within a year and promoting alternative energy sources, the focus of the Energy Emergency will be making the country self-reliant in power within a decade.
In order to end load-shedding within a year, the government aims to speed up the reconstruction of earthquake-damaged hydropower projects with a combined capacity of 90 MW as soon as possible and rush the construction of projects that are currently being built.
Likewise, the government plans to complete the construction of the 1,200 MW Budhi Gandaki, the only storage-type project whose detailed project report (DPR) has been prepared, within the emergency period.
The action plan has also proposed signing power purchase agreements (PPA) with potential hydropower developers in US dollar terms for a period of 10 years in a bid to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) in the sector.
Signing PPAs in US dollar terms has been a controversial issue in Nepal as the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has been incurring losses from the
60 MW Khimti and 36 MW Bhote Koshi projects. The NEA has been stating 40 percent of its revenue goes into making payments for these two projects.
Once the action plan is endorsed by the Cabinet, a number of bills will be presented to Parliament to amend acts and polices related to land acquisition, forest clearance and compensation, among others, to make sure legalities do not stall the endeavour to make the country self-reliant in energy.
In 2008, the government had also declared an energy emergency during the tenure of Water Resources Minister Bishnu Prasad Poudel. However, it flopped as there were no concrete plans and programmes. The government said that it was aware of the mistakes committed then and that its action was based on past experience.