Nepal urges 90 MW power from Bihar government amid power deficit

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KATHMANDU: The Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has urged the Bihar government to supply an additional 90 Mega Watt (MW) of power from Bihar. This is to deal with the power deficit that the country is currently going through. This is excluding the 90 MW that Nepal has currently been importing from India reported Kathmandu Post.

To deal with this power deficit NEA has had to cut power Birgunj region and Bara-Parsa industrial corridor for over a month now. And the low capacity of the Dhalkebar-Muzaffarpur transmission line to Birgunj is making the transmission of power more difficult, according to the Kathmandu Post Nepal’s leading English-language daily.

The current import of power by Nepal is done from Bihar through Raxaul and Ramnagar areas. The report said that the power output capacity of Nepal’s power project is 2200 MW. However, most of these projects are run-of-the-river type so they are able to produce 40 per cent lesser power in the country’s dry season from December to April.

This has reduced the total power output of Nepal by 800 MW where the current power demand in the country is at 1683 MW.

The spokesperson for the NEA Suresh Bhattarai is quoted in the report who said, “We have sent a request to the Bihar government for the supply of an additional 90MW electricity. The state government has agreed to supply it, but it is a challenging task to bring it through the existing single circuit cross-border line.”

He further added that the Bihar government has been making improvements to the transmission lines with necessary technical adjustments.

According to the Ministry of Energy, there are a dozen cross-border transmission lines between Nepal and India of 33kV, 132kV and 400kV capacities.

Only the Dhalkebar-Muzaffarpur Cross Border Transmission Line has 400kV capacity, which can transport around 1,000MW. Other 11 cross-border transmission lines can transport just between 5MW and 125MW power, according to a white paper on energy issued by the ministry in May 2018, the report claimed.

Nepal and India currently have a power exchange setup in a place where both country can buy and sell power.

However, Nepal and India have scheduled a meeting of the joint secretary, Joint Working Group and the secretary-level Joint Steering Committee where the upgradation of the cross border transmission line is to be discussed in February this year.

The price has been fixed at IRs6.18 per unit for taking power through the 132kV transmission line and IRs6.65 for buying electricity through the 33kV transmission line.

The president of Birgunj Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Subodh Kumar Gupta said that “The NEA has not declared an official load shedding schedule which has made it difficult for the industries to run factories,” of one of the key industrial belts of Nepal.

“Due to prolonged power cuts, the cost of production of industries operating here has gone up,” Gupta added.

Although this is not the first time that India has been requested by Nepal to supply power prior to this Nepal had requested power in March last year also but India had to decline the request because of a coal shortage due to Russia Ukraine conflict. (ANI)

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