Dhangadhi-Paliya power line back in operationThe Dhangadhi-Paliya cross-border transmission line has come back to life after 10 years, bringing joy to the inhabitants of Province 7 as now there will be regular electricity even during peak demand hours.
The Dhangadhi-Paliya cross-border transmission line has come back to life after 10 years, bringing joy to the inhabitants of Province 7 as now there will be regular electricity even during peak demand hours.
The 33 kV power line located in the far west will allow the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) to import another 12 MW of electricity from India. The state-owned power utility will draw electricity over the cross-border line based on requirement.
“As there is surplus electricity in Province 7, we will consider importing power over the Dhangadhi-Paliya transmission line only in times of shortage,” said Prabal Adhikari, chief of the power trading department at the NEA.
The total electricity demand of Province 7 during peak hour is 47 MW. With the power line coming back online, supply has increased to 66.5 MW.
The Chameliya and Naugadh hydropower projects produce a combined 38.5 MW of electricity while the NEA is drawing up to 16 MW from the Tanakpur point under the Mahakali Treaty with India.
“The current supply is expected to meet the electricity demand of Province 7 for at least a couple of years,” said Adhikari.
The Dhangadhi-Paliya cross-border power line went out of operation in 2008, and Nepal had repeatedly been requesting India to revive it. The two countries agreed to revive the power line during the energy secretary-level joint steering committee meeting held between Nepal and India last August.
Subsequently, the Indian side started maintenance work on the transmission line. The NEA will pay Rs6 per unit for the electricity imported through this power line as fixed by the Nepal-India Power Exchange Committee Meeting held in August 2017.
With the cross-border transmission line back in operation, Nepal can import a little over 500 MW from India. The NEA relies heavily on electricity imported from India to keep the lights burning during the dry season.
Power generation by domestic hydropower projects has fallen steeply of late due to the reduced water level in the country’s snow-fed rivers where a majority of the plants are located.
Currently, the NEA is importing around 435 MW of electricity from India via a dozen cross-border transmission lines. Last week, when there was sharp drop in temperature, imports rose to a high of 490 MW.
As a majority of hydroelectric stations in the country are run-of-the-river types, output drops sharply during the dry season when the water flow in the rivers goes down. The total installed capacity of the hydropower projects in the country stands at 986 MW, but output has dropped to half currently.
There is only one reservoir in the country which is used by two power plants, Kulekhani I and II, which generated a combined 92 MW of electricity.