SILIGURI: Hydropower rich, Himalayan country Nepal is going to increase its power import from India to plug up own winter time demand-supply gap.
In addition to its existing 350MW import, Nepal will take additional 25MW from India as per a power purchase agreement signed between Nepal Electricity Authority(NEA) and NTPCBSE 0.66 % Vidyut Vyapar Nigam Ltd. of India.
As Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) Deputy Managing Director Rajeev Sharma puts it, “This 25 MW is quite significant for the small power system of Nepal.”
The additional intake will take place through a cross country transmission line between Dhalkebar in Nepal and –Muzaffarpur in Indian state Bihar. At existing tariff of INR 3.6 per unit, the increased import is likely to continue till arrival of rainfall in the Himalayan terrain in May - informed a NEA official.
Against total theoretically gigantic hydropower potential of over 83,000 MW, Nepal’s Economically feasible potential is 43,000 MW. But its existing capacity is less than 1000MW. Against peak demand of around 950MW, the countries production during dry winter goes as low as 450MW due to lack of water flow along the streams forcing the country to import power from India. Eventually, the transmission lines used to import this power always remain in Nepal policy maker’s priority list.
Nepal’s imports total 350MW from India through four cross country lines. Kataiya-Kushhawa line carries 120MW, 30MW goes through Tanakpur-Mahendranagar and 25MW goes through Ramnagar-Gandak transmission lines. Remaining 120MW is received by Nepal through Dhalkebar-Muzaffarpur. This route is under capacity augmentation process to have a handling capacity of 280 MW.
Nepal has a set plan to establish 2200 MW fresh generation capacity and 3000km transmission lines by 2020. In addition, there are plans for other projects of total 2300MW to be developed by Indian Companies. Once established, these new projects will make Nepal a major power exporting country in South Asian region. At the same time, India, being the major contributor to these projects and next door neighbor of Nepal, will be one of the largest beneficiaries of the augmented volume of produced power.