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India to supply 160MW power to Nepal from Jan 1

IANS | Kathmandu |

India will start supplying an additional 80MW electricity to Nepal from January 1, 2017, through the Dhalkebar-Muzaffarpur transmission line, the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu said.

Nepal currently imports 80MW of electricity through the transmission line and with the additional import, the quantum will reach 160MW, The Kathmandu Post reported on Saturday.

During his recent visit to India, Energy Minister Janardan Sharma had held discussions with Union Power Minster Piyush Goyal, requesting to arrange additional power to Nepal, the embassy's statement 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.

The supply of the additional electricity from India would 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 was upgrading its distribution system in such a way that the imported electricity would 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 had told the Post.

Moreover, NEA's capacity to import energy from India would increase substantially following the completion of the under-construction Dhalkebar substation. 

The 320MVA substation, which would be completed by February, would be able to handle up to 280MW, enabling NEA to import an additional 120MW power.

The Dhalkebar-Muzaffarpur transmission line was currently being operated at 132KVA capacity. After the completion of the substation, the power line can be operated at 220KVA.

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.