Nepal, India Agree To Expedite Hydropower Development, Trade

Nepal, India Agree To Expedite Hydropower Development, Trade

 25 Feb, 2022

Laxman Kafle Rising Nepal

Kathmandu, Feb. 25: Nepal and India have agreed to make hydropower development, cross-border transmission lines and power exchange more effective.

The ninth meeting of the Joint Steering Committee (JSC) of Energy Secretaries of the two countries in Kathmandu on Thursday discussed and agreed on the issues of under-construction and proposed cross-border transmission lines, Arun III hydropower, and inter-country electricity import and export.

The meeting was chaired by Devendra Karki, Secretary at the Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation, Nepal and co-chaired by Alok Kumar, Secretary, Ministry of Power, Government of India.

The secretary-level Joint Steering Committee approved the agreements reached in the Joint Secretary-level working group that convened on Wednesday.

The Joint Secretary-level meeting was attended by Chiranjeevi Chataut, Joint Secretary of the ministry on behalf of Nepal and Ghanshyam Prasad, Joint Secretary of the power ministry on behalf of India on Wednesday.

Study of mega projects in joint investment

Nepal and India have agreed to construct mega hydropower projects through a joint investment, said a press statement of the Ministry issued after the meeting.

As per the agreement, a joint technical team comprising 2-3 members each from both the countries will be formed to carry out the study to develop large hydropower projects between Nepal and India.

It has been agreed to increase the import and export capacity of the first cross-border Dhalkebar-Muzaffarpur 400 kV transmission line from 350 MW to 600 MW.

The meeting agreed to further increase the capacity of import and export of electricity from the transmission line after the completion of the Hetauda-Dhalkewar-Inaruwa 400 kV transmission line in December 2023.

Additional transmission line
India has also agreed to expedite the construction of the new Butwal-Gorakhpur 400 kV transmission line, the second cross-border transmission line.
The government of Nepal will arrange necessary investment for the Nepal section of this project. However, the format of investment and implementation required for structures on Indian side has not been determined yet.

The meeting agreed to set up a joint venture company of Nepal Electricity Authority and Power Grid Corporation (Powergrid) of the Government of India by April 2022.
In the meantime, Powergrid will have to get approval for the joint venture.
Similarly, it has been agreed to expedite the necessary deal between the company and the Nepal Electricity Authority.

The meeting also agreed to study the possibility of constructing a cross-border power transmission line between Nepal and the Indian state of West Bengal by a joint technical team.
As this infrastructure would be important for electricity trade with Nepal's electricity including West Bengal and Bangladesh, the Nepali side had given special emphasis to it.

Regarding the request made by government of Nepal to grant the approval to various applications submitted by the NEA for the export of electricity to India before the coming monsoon season, India has agreed to grant expeditious approval in accordance with the prevailing rules regarding inland electricity trade at the earliest.

A Secretary-level Joint Steering Committee was formed to facilitate and monitor the implementation of the Nepal-India Electricity Trade Agreement in 2014.a