Kathmandu, December 31: India will supply an additional 80 MW of electricity to Nepal from January 1, 2017 to help the Himalayan nation cope with an energy crisis. Nepal’s energy minister Janardan Sharma held discussions with India’s minister of state for power Piyush Goyal in New Delhi on Friday, when the Indian side agreed to provide the additional power, the Indian embassy said.
The supply of the additional energy was made possible after the Power Grid Corporation of India Limited installed an additional 220/132kV, 100MVA transformer at Muzaffarpur substation in India, the embassy said.
Nepal currently imports 80MW of electricity through the transmission line. And with the additional import, the quantum will reach 160MW. The supply of the additional electricity from India will give Nepal Electricity Authority’s (NEA) drive to make the Kathmandu Valley a loadshedding-free zone a major shot in the arm.
However, under the existing infrastructure, the imported electricity cannot be transmitted to Kathmandu. But NEA has said it is upgrading its distribution system in such a way that the imported electricity will cover areas up to Hetauda.
“After the upgradation, we don’t have to supply electricity produced along Marshyangdi and Trishuli corridors to Hetauda and surrounding districts. Instead it can be used in Kathmandu,” NEA Spokesperson Prabal Adhikari said.
Moreover, NEA’s capacity to import energy from India will increase substantially following the completion of the under-construction Dhalkebar substation. The 320MVA substation, which will be completed by February, will be able to handle up to 280MW, enabling NEA to import an additional 120MW power. During a meeting of the Joint Steering Committee in New Delhi in June, India had expressed its readiness to supply additional electricity to Nepal through Dhalkebar, and had stressed the substation be completed at the earliest.
NEA currently imports 345MW from India through four major transmission lines as domestic production falls short of demand. Of the total imports, 80MW is received through Dhalkebar-Muzaffarpur, 120MW through Kataiya-Kushhawa, 30MW through Tanakpur-Mahendranagar and 25MW through Ramnagar-Gandak transmission lines.