India and Nepal to enhance hydro power development mechanism

New Delhi, Sept. 8 (ANI): Indian and Nepalese officials held a meeting here recently to address issues related to implementation of the power trade agreement signed between both countries in October 2014.

The conference titled ‘Enhancing India-Nepal Power Trading: Issues Involved’ was organised by the Confederation Industry of India (CII) in collaboration with the Ministry of Power.

The power trade agreement includes the development of transmission interconnections, grid connectivity, power exchange and trading through government, public and private entities.

Experts from government and non-government organisations also attended the event.

Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Energy of Nepal Government, Dr. Sanjay Sharma, said that discussions needed to be held to harmonize policies between the two countries.

“Today, we are focusing on Nepal-India power trading. There are lot of issues, but I guess most of the issues are more technical. Let’s say policy, operation wise, those issues need to be discussed. Today, in the inaugural session, we talked about market forces, but before the market forces can enter the game, we need to sort out a lot of policy issues, harmonize the policies between the two countries,” Sharma said.

“There are lots of technical issues on inter-connections, grid code issues, lot of technical issues. We have experts from many organizations here, power trading corporations from Nepal from India. So, I am sure that we will be able to sort out many issues,” he added.

Nepal is endowed with huge hydro power potential of 44000MW. The Government of Nepal is giving priority to develop its vast hydropower reserves in order to meet its growing demand for energy and power exports to India.

When the hydropower projects in Nepal are completed, the country is likely to turn into a power surplus supplier with the bulk of power being exported to India.

Indeed, ventures such as GMR’s 900 MW Upper Karnali project and Satluj Jala Vidyut Nigam Ltd’s (SJVNL’s) Arun-III project (also 900 MW) are both being developed as export-oriented projects.

The CEO of the Investment Board of Nepal, Radesh Pant, said that the setting up of hydro projects will improve the economic condition of the people in rural areas.

“It will be very much benefited because you know then there is a market, right now what is happening is because there is lack of market the power development has not really occurred in Nepal. First of all, Nepal should understand how the capacity of Nepal to develop own hydro power would go up,” Pant said.

“Economically, the livelihoods of local people would improve because basically most of these hydro projects will be setup in rural areas. Finally, I think, India is not the only country, we are also talking about whole of South Asia. South Asia will be the growth engine in the future,” he added. (ANI)

By Neelapu Shanti

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