NEA asks India not to stop electricity supplyThe Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has asked India not to halt the supply of power to Nepal via the Dhalkebar-Muzaffarpur cross-border transmission line even after the power purchase agreement (PPA) expires at the end of December.
The Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has asked India not to halt the supply of power to Nepal via the Dhalkebar-Muzaffarpur cross-border transmission line even after the power purchase agreement (PPA) expires at the end of December.
The state-owned power utility made the request after an energy secretary-level joint steering committee meeting between Nepal and India slated to be held in the last week of December was canceled.
NEA Managing Director Kulman Ghising has written to Indian state-owned nodal agency NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam (NVVN) to extend the agreement for three more months. The two countries had planned to renew the PPA during the joint steering committee meeting, but after Nepal cancelled the scheduled conference citing lack of preparation, there was confusion regarding the supply of power over the cross-border transmission when the pact expires.
The NEA has said that the supply of electricity over the Dhalkebar-Muzaffarpur power line will not be disrupted. “As we have already communicated with NVVN, we are hopeful that it will give continuity to the power supply,” said Ghising. “We are planning to visit Delhi after Christmas to sign a deal to extend the PPA for three months at the same rate.”
As per the agreement signed with NVVN, the NEA will be receiving up to 160 MW of electricity until the end of December through the transmission line at the rate of IRs3.60 per unit. Currently, the power utility is importing 120 MW of electricity over the power line. This is expected to increase in the near future when demand for electricity grows.
Nepal started importing electricity over the Dhalkebar-Muzaffarpur transmission line in February 2016 after the then prime minister KP Sharma Oli and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi jointly inaugurated the cross-border transmission line.
Initially, Nepal was importing 80 MW of electricity through the cross-border transmission line. Imports doubled after electricity generation by domestic hydropower projects dropped sharply during the dry season due to reduced water levels in the rivers. The NEA was able to eliminate power cuts in the Kathmandu Valley and other major cities in the country largely due to the energy imports through the Dhalkebar-Muzaffarpur transmission line.
The NEA is currently importing around 400 MW of electricity from India through nine transmission lines. Most of the power comes through the Dhalkebar-Muzaffarpur, Kataiya-Kushhawa, Raxaul-Parwanipur, Tanakpur-Mahendranagar and Ramnagar-Gandak transmission lines.
The utility is planning to increase imports through these cross-border transmission lines because domestic production is expected to drop further as the dry season intensifies.