Monday, February 1, 2021

Nepal becoming self-reliant in energy, claims Prime Minister

 Though, Nepal has been importing, more than half of the electricity it consumes, from India at present, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli today claimed that the country is heading toward becoming self-reliant in the energy sector.

Inaugurating the 400 kV substation at Dhalkebar in Dhanusha today, Oli claimed that the infrastructure will serve as the main gateway to import and export electricity to India. The substation was constructed with joint investment by the government of Nepal and Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), the sole government power utility.

“We are becoming self-reliant in the energy sector,” the prime minister said adding that Nepal will be able to export electricity with the completion of Dhalkebar substation. “At present, we are self-reliant only in the rainy season,” he said, showing confident that Nepal will be completely self-reliant in the energy sector round the year in a couple of years.

The substation – constructed under the ‘National Electricity Development Decade’ programme enables NEA to exchange 1,000 MW to 1,200 MW of electricity with India via the Dhalkebar-Muzaffarpur cross-border transmission line, according to the NEA.

On the occasion, energy minister Top Bahadur Rayamajhi and minister for Urban Development Prabhu Shah were also present 

The 400 kV Dhalkebar substation has officially come online from today. The government has targeted to increase the electricity production to 3,000 MW in the current fiscal year, though its not possible in practical. Given the existing domestic demand of around 1,400 MW, there will be a surplus energy, if the government’s target is met. However, Nepal is importing 680 MW electricity from India at present. Within a couple of weeks, Nepal will add 100 MW more import – making a total of 780 MW import – from India to meet the domestic consumption.

But according to the government, it has also planned to develop 10,000 MW of electricity by 2025. In this context, the Dhalkebar-Muzaffarpur cross-border transmission line is considered the most strategic infrastructure for power trade with neighboring countries. It is also expected to help materialise the proposed energy banking between Nepal and India, the NEA claimed, adding that it had charged the substation in November with the completion of its construction. “The infrastructure now enables the NEA to also send electricity produced from Upper Tamakoshi to east and west for domestic consumption, apart from exporting energy to India.”

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