Power import turns uncertain over tariff issueAlthough the construction of the 400kV Dhalkebar-Muzaffarpur cross-border transmission line is set to complete by Thursday, plans to import 80MW electricity from India from February 16 have turned uncertain after issues related to pricing surfaced.
Although the construction of the 400kV Dhalkebar-Muzaffarpur cross-border transmission line is set to complete by Thursday, plans to import 80MW electricity from India from February 16 have turned uncertain after issues related to pricing surfaced.
The tariff issue emerged after India assigned NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam to export power to Nepal. Previously, India’s Power Trading Corporation (PTC) was supposed to supply the 80MW electricity. PTC had proposed selling the
electricity at Rs5.5 per unit, but NTPS has now demanded Rs8.8 per unit.
“The issue surfaced after a new agency was brought onboard to supply energy to Nepal. We are doing our bit to resolve the issue at the earliest,” said NEA Managing Director Mukesh Kafle.
After NEA’s appeal to Indian agencies concerned to abide by the proposal made earlier failed, it has corresponded to India’s Power Ministry through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs over the issue. “We are sure the G2G (government-to-government) negotiation will yield positive results,” said Kafle.
NEA said the task of developing the transmission line on the Nepali side would complete by Thursday and a test transmission would begin from Saturday. “This marks the end of infrastructure development of the cross-border transmission line,” Kafle said.
Nepal purchases energy from PTC at Rs5.80 per unit on an average. The country is currently importing 200-230MW electricity from India every day. The import of additional energy will help reduce load shedding by around two hours a day.
However, Kafle said NEA could not import the additional energy until the tariff-related issues are resolved. “This is a commercial deal and without clarity on tariff we simply cannot act,” he said, adding since the import of the additional energy falls under the government’s priority, he was optimistic the issue would be resolved soon.
During a Nepal-India Joint Steering Committee meeting in January, the two countries had discussed Nepal importing up to 200MW energy from the Dhalkebar-Muzaffarpur transmission line within the next winter season and had agreed to make the project functional in full capacity by December 2017.
Once the project is operated in full capacity, Nepal will be able to import around 940MW energy from India.