Friday, June 21, 2019

Nepal, Bangladesh agree to make joint investment in Nepal's hydropower

Nepal and Bangladesh – during a meeting held in Dhaka – agreed to jointly invest in the feasible hydropower project in Nepal.
A meeting of the energy secretaries from both the countries today in Dhaka also decided to use the existing setup of Indian transmission lines to trade power in the short run, though they had decided to study the prospect of building dedicated power lines in the long term.
Agreeing to make a joint investment in the projects based on the whitepaper issued after the last meeting, the secretary level meeting between energy officials of both countries today agreed to form a committee to study the prospect of transferring solar power technologies available in Bangladesh to Nepal.
According to energy secretary Dinesh Kumar Ghimire, the meeting has agreed for the joint investment on hydropower, collaboration, and cooperation on alternative energy and electricity export to Bangladesh. The agreement was signed by energy secretary Dinesh Ghimire and his Bangladeshi counterpart Ahmad Kaikaus during the Joint Steering Committee meeting in line with the Memorandum of Under-standing signed by the two countries on ‘Cooperation in the Field of Power Sector’ last August.
Discussions on the use of Indian transmission lines passing through the Siliguri Corridor – popularly known as Chicken’s Neck – emerged in the wake of recent amendments to the cross-border energy trading regulations by India. India has relaxed earlier provisions and given explicit recognition to tripartite arrangements in cross-border electricity trade. “The Transmission Planning Agency of India in consultation with the Transmission Planning Agency of the neighbouring country shall grant access to the Participating Entities to use Cross Border Transmission Link for cross border trade of electricity,” reads India’s Cross Border Trade of Electricity Regulations, 2019.
During past meetings, Nepal and Bangladesh pledged to make their best efforts in devising such trilateral arrangements.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh has formulated a policy to import 9,000 MW electricity from Nepal by 2040 as Bangladesh being one of the fastest growing economies – aided by its manufacturing sector – is an energy-hungry nation which makes it a lucrative market for power produced in Nepal.
The authorities from both countries have also planned to study and invest in 20 major hydropower project proposed in the white paper released by the energy ministry in May 2018. The proposed projects include four storage and other major hydroelectric power plants including Upper Arun, Dudhkoshi, Sunkoshi 2, Sunkoshi 3, West Seti and Phukot Karnali. Out of the 20 projects, the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) is currently evaluating the detailed project report (DPR) of the 800 MW Dudhkoshi Hydropower project and the recent project optimisation of Upper Arun, which revised its installed capacity from 725 MW to 1040 MW. The estimated annual cumulative output of the proposed and under-study projects stands at 42713.18 GWhr, nearly 11 times current total annual output.
Nepal’s power generation is expected to surge in the next fiscal year as some 43 projects with installed capacity of 1149 MW are expected to be joined in the national grid. Due to power surplus estimation in future, the government has focused on construction of high capacity substations at cross-border trade points and finalise the modalities for developing the 400 kV Butwal-Gorakhpur Transmission Line to facilitate cross border power trade.

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