Plan to cut load shedding in winter may not happenThe government’s plan to slash load shedding this winter is unlikely to happen as the power substation being built at Dhalkebar in Dhanusha will not be completed in time.
The government’s plan to slash load shedding this winter is unlikely to happen as the power substation being built at Dhalkebar in Dhanusha will not be completed in time.
The contractor for the construction project, Central China Power Grid International Economic and Trade Co, is certain to miss its December deadline, the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) said.
Immediately after assuming office, Energy Minister Janardan Sharma had visited the construction site at Dhalkebar and told the Chinese contractor to complete the job by December-end.
Since the company looked like missing the deadline, NEA Managing Director Kulman Ghising extended the time limit until January 2017 during an inspection visit to Dhalkebar on Wednesday.
“During our inspection tour, we found that it would be almost impossible to complete the construction of the substation by the end of December,” said Rajeev Sharma, chief of the transmission directorate at the NEA.
“Therefore, our managing director gave the contractor a fresh deadline to complete the construction work.” Work is being speeded up; and if the contractor maintains this pace, it will be able to meet the new deadline, Sharma added.
Once the Dhalkebar substation is completed, its enhanced capacity will allow Nepal to jack up its energy imports from India substantially. It currently receives around 80 MW from the southern neighbour over the Dhalkebar-Muzaffarpur transmission line. “The 320 MVA capacity substation will be able to handle up to 280 MW after it is completed,” said Sharma. “So we can import another 200 MW of electricity from India.”
The Dhalkebar-Muzaffarpur power line was completed in February, and it is currently being operated at 132 KVA. After the construction of the substation is completed, the line can be operated at 220 KVA.
During a meeting of the Joint Steering Committee held in New Delhi in June, India expressed readiness to provide additional electricity to Nepal through Dhalkebar, and stressed that the substation should be completed at the earliest.
The NEA imports 345 MW from India through four major transmission lines as domestic production falls short of demand.
Of the total imports, 80 MW is being received through Dhalkebar-Muzaffarpur, 120 MW through Kataiya-Kushhawa, 30 MW through Tanakpur-Mahendranagar and 25 MW through Ramnagar-Gandak transmission lines.