Oli, Modi inaugurate power lineThe power line crucial for Nepal plans to import 600MW electricity from India by December 2017 to end load shedding
Prithvi Man Shrestha
In a major boost to cross-border power trade, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi jointly inaugurated the Dhalkebar-Muzaffarpur cross-border transmission line on Saturday.
The power line is the first to come into operation among six such projects planned for cross-border power trade between the two countries. It is crucial for Nepal’s plans to import an additional 600MW electricity from India by December 2017 to end
The government on Thursday announced “National Energy Crisis Reduction and Electricity Development Decade” on Thursday, with an ambitious target of ending load shedding in next two years.
“Power import from India is one of the crucial components of this plan,” said Sanjaya Sharma, spokesperson for the Ministry of Energy.
As per the plan, more than 50 percent of the country’s electricity requirement during the dry season would be fulfilled through imports from India in the first year.
The country’s installed capacity hydropower projects stands at 780MW, which drops to 300MW during the dry season.
NEA started importing electricity through this cross-border line from Wednesday. On the first day, 15MW of electricity was imported, which rose to 80MW on Saturday, according to NEA.
In order to import 200MW electricity through the Dhalkebar-Muzaffarpur transmission Line, it is necessary to increase the capacity of sub-stations on the Nepali side, according to NEA. Currently, only 132KW capacity of power line has been utilised.
“We have purchased equipment to upgrade the substations to 220KV and we hope to complete the installation by October this year. After that, we can import the promised 200MW power,” said Chhetri.
The line can transmit 1,200MW of electricity and NEA plans not only to import but also to export power to India when there’s a surplus in Nepal.
Speaking in Nepal’s Parliament during his visit in August 2014, Modi had said: “Nepal can become a prosperous nation by selling electricity to India. We want to join you in your journey to prosperity.”
In the latest energy emergency plan, the government has announced that feasibility studies and surveys of other planned transmission lines would also started immediately. “Necessary initiative will be taken to construct the 400KV Sunauli-Gorakhpur, 400KV Duhawi-Kataiya, 400KV Anarmani-Silgudhi, 400KV Kohalpur-Lucknow, 400KV Tikapur-Baleri and Rasuwagadhi-Kerung high voltage transmission lines,” the plan states.
Following the import of the 80MW additional power, NEA has ended the one-hour extra power cut being imposed above the usual schedule during the day time. “We will probably end the practice for the night time as well within two-three days,” said Bhuwan Chhetri, chief of NEA’s Load Dispatch Centre.