China proposes joint DPR of cross-border transmission lineThe Chinese government has proposed preparing a joint detailed project report (DPR) of the first Nepal-China cross-border transmission line. State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC), the Chinese government appointed focal institution for the development of the power line forwarded the proposal to Nepal last week requesting to work together to prepare the DPR.
The Chinese government has proposed preparing a joint detailed project report (DPR) of the first Nepal-China cross-border transmission line. State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC), the Chinese government appointed focal institution for the development of the power line forwarded the proposal to Nepal last week requesting to work together to prepare the DPR.
In the proposal currently being reviewed by Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA)—the state-owned power utility, SGCC mentioned the task of preparing the joint DPR with proportionate cost sharing basis. The NEA has said its legal team is reviewing the proposal and it will soon hold discussion with the Chinese side before forwarding it to the Ministry of Energy Water Resources and Irrigation (MoEWRI). Subsequently, the ministry will forward it to the Cabinet for final approval.
The power utility is planning to complete the homework as soon as possible so that the accord can be signed during Prime Minister KP Sharma probable visit to China in June. “We have to discuss with the Chinese side to resolve some issues,” said Komal Atreya, chief of the monitoring department of the NEA who has been appointed as the focal person to coordinate with the Chinese side.
He declined to give further details of the proposal.
“But we do not have any problem in preparing the joint DPR of the project. In fact, we want the Chinese side to take lead in preparing the report.”
As only 80 km out of the estimated 800-km length of the transmission lies within Nepali territory, it is logical that the Chinese side take lead in developing the project, according to the NEA. The transmission line will extend from Galchhi, Nepal to Shigatse, China.
The Nepali portion of the power line will stretch from Galchhi in Dhading district to Rasuwagadhi on the border with China in the north, according to the NEA. The state owned power utility has finalised the alignment of the power line.
According to the NEA, the Chinese side is very keen on executing the project and has prioritised it. SGCC officials visited Nepal in early 2017 to hold talks with the MoEWRI and the NEA to build a 400 kV power line linking Rasuwagadhi and Kerung across the northern border. During the meeting, NEA Managing Director Kulman Ghising asked the Chinese delegation to extend the proposed transmission line further south up to Galchhi so that it could be linked with the Nepal-India cross-border transmission line proposed to be built in Rupandehi district.
As the transmission line is necessary to supply electricity to the railway service which China plans to build up to Kathmandu, the northern neighbour is very eager in developing it.
China has already erected a high voltage transmission line up to Shigatse, and if the Nepal government shows adequate commitment, they have agreed to extend it to Kerung within one and a half years, and ultimately connect it with the power line in Nepal, according to the NEA.