The Kathmandu Post, 3rd April 2017, Kathmandu
The Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has started cutting down on energy imports from India with domestic producers boosting output helped by rising water levels in the rivers.
The state-owned power utility has decreased imports over the Dhalkebar-Muzaffarpur cross-border transmission line by 10 MW to 135 MW.
Similarly, electricity imports through other cross-border transmission lines have dropped. “Currently, total electricity imports from India have come down to 338 MW,” said Prabal Adhikari, chief of the NEA’s Power Trading Department. “We were importing around 380 MW as of mid-February.”
The NEA, according to Managing Director Kulman Ghising, will slash electricity imports from India further as power generation by domestic plants has been increasing thanks to swollen rivers.
All the hydroelectric projects in the country except Kulekhani 1 and 2 are run-of-the-river types, and their generation increases with a rise in the water level in the rivers.
Currently, domestic plants are generating 564 MW of electricity, up 67 MW from a month and a half ago, according to NEA statistics. Domestic hydropower stations were producing 497 MW as of mid-February.
“NEA-owned hydroelectric projects are generating 401 MW, up 48 MW from 353 MW in mid-February,” said Adhikari. “Similarly, private developers have boosted output by 19 MW to 163 MW.
After energy generation plunged almost 60 percent due to a fall in water levels in most rivers, the NEA had to rely heavily on electricity imported from India to keep the Kathmandu Valley free from power cuts and minimize outages in the rest of the country. However, electricity generation has improved lately, thanks to good spring rains.
The NEA said the situation would improve further as snow-fed rivers start to swell with rising temperatures. “As the temperature has started rising, the snow on the mountains will start to melt, causing increased discharge of water in the rivers,”
The Kali Gandaki, Marshyangdi and Trishuli rivers, which account for most of the hydroelectricity produced in the country, are snow-fed rivers.
State of Electricity
Mid-February 2017 April 2017
Electricity from NEA projects 353 MW 401 MW
Electricity from private projects 144 MW 163 MW
Imports from India 380 MW 338 MW
Total peak demand 1212 MW 1259 MW