Nepal and India have agreed to build new projects by injecting joint investment in the hydropower sector.
As per the agreement reached at Nepal-India Energy Joint Meeting, a joint technical team will be formed to carry out the study as per the proposal made by India.
In the meeting that started in Kathmandu on Wednesday and ended on Thursday, the two countries agreed to build more transmission lines, complete the transmission lines that are under construction and proposed new cross -country transmission lines, completion of Arun 3 hydropower project and energy export and import.
According to a press release issued by the Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation, Nepal and India have agreed to form a joint technical team consisting of three members from each country to construct a large hydropower project.
An official who participated in the meeting said that the same committee will give necessary suggestions on the joint investment that Nepal and India can make in hydropower and transmission lines.
The committee will submit a report on which hydropower projects will be jointly invested and which transmission lines will be constructed and expanded to suit them.
During the meeting, Nepal had requested for approval of various proposals submitted by Nepal Electricity Authority to export electricity to India before the coming rainy season.
“There has been consensus between the two sides that India would give approval for Nepal’s proposal to export power to India from various hydropower projects in Nepal at the earliest as per India’s existing rules on power trade,” the ministry said in a press statement on Thursday.
Nepal is currently allowed to export only 39 MW of project power to the Indian Energy Exchange market. Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has also proposed to allow additional 814 MW project electricity to enter the market.
Exporting more power to India in the upcoming monsoon season was one of the agenda items of the joint secretary-level Joint Working Group and secretary-level Joint Steering Committee meetings between the two countries held on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively, in Kathmandu.
“Indian officials agreed that they would accelerate the approval process before the wet season to help Nepal export power to India,” said Chiranjeevi Chataut, joint secretary at the Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation.
According to Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), it has submitted to India a fresh list of hydropower projects by incorporating the projects which were submitted last year too along with a few new ones seeking export approval.
The projects include Upper Tamakoshi (456MW), Upper Bhotekoshi (45MW), Kaligandaki (144MW), Marshyangdi (69 MW), Middle Marshyangdi (70MW) and Chameliya (30MW) and Likhu IV (52.4MW) where Nepal wants to export power to India.
The meeting also agreed to carry out a study of the possibility of constructing a cross-country power transmission line between Nepal and the Indian state of West Bengal by a joint technical team.
The meeting has decided to start using the Dhalkebar-Muzaffarpur 400 kV transmission line to import and export up to 600 MW of electricity. So far, only 350 MW of electricity has been imported from this line.
The two sides also agreed to increase the volume of power to be traded through this transmission line once the 400kV Hetauda-Dhalkebar-Inaruwa transmission line is completed, possibly by December 2023.
Currently, the Dhalkebar-Muzaffarpur Cross-Border Transmission Line is the only power line of 400kV capacity in Nepal.
It has also been agreed that a new company will be constituted by April 22 to build the second cross country Butwal-Gorakhpur 400 kV transmission line.
Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) and the Government of India’s Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PowerGrid) will constitute the company for upgrading the new transmission lines.
In September last year, the NEA and the Power Grid Corporation of India signed an agreement to build the Indian section of the New Butwal-Gorakhpur cross-border transmission line through joint investment. They have also agreed to implement the transmission service agreement between the NEA and the Power Grid Corporation of India alongside the establishment of the joint venture company.
The meeting was chaired by Devendra Karki, Secretary, Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation and Alok Kumar, Secretary, Ministry of Power, Government of India.