Nepal to buy 600 MW energy from India

Kathmandu, Feb 15 (IANS) Unveiling an ambitious energy security plan, the Nepalese government has proposed to import 600 MW energy from India to lessen its increasing power woes.

Though Nepal at present imports 230 MW from India, according to a Nepalese official, India will sell 80 mw electricity to the country from Tuesday via newly installed 400 KV Mujjafarpur-Dhalkebar transmission line.

An announcement was made on Monday to import electricity from India after the Indian nodal agency NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam agreed to sell power at Rs.5.5 per unit (IRs.3.44) to the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA).

Earlier, the Nepal Electricity Authority, the state-owned sole utility for power generation and distribution, said different power tariff proposed by India-assigned NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam and Power Trading Corporation (PTC) to Nepal had hit roadblock to import electricity from India.

Two Indian nodal agencies, NTPC and Power Trading Corporation (PTC), were competing each other to sell electricity to Nepal but there was price war between the two.

A team of NTPC arrived in Kathmandu on Sunday to discuss and settle the tariff with the NEA officials.

The formal announcement of importing electricity will be made during the visit of Napelese Prime Minister K.P. Oli to India that begins from Friday, Nepal’s energy secretary told IANS.

After NTPC charged the rate higher than what the PTC offered, the NEA made a request to the Indian side to reconsider its proposal.

After Nepal’s request, another round of negotiation took place between the NTPC and NEA and the deal was finally sealed.

With the import, daily power outages in Nepal will come down to 11 hours from 13 hours, said officials.

At present Nepal’s total energy demand is 1,300 MW but the Himalayan country is able to provide just 829 MW.

The government is going to declare energy emergency probably on Monday owing the growing energy crisis, giving power projects construction a priority and importing 600 MW electricity from India on a temporary basis to cope with the demand.

By the end of 2016, the electricity demand in Nepal will reach 1,500 MW so there is no other alternative for Nepal except to import from India, said the document prepared by the ministry of energy while giving reason why energy emergency was needed to be declared.

According to the document, Nepal will buy additional 600 MW from India in three stages, said the document. It added that 200 MW will be imported from Muzzafarpur-Dhalkebar transmission line while te rest will be imported from various other cross-border grids.

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