No power cuts this Tihar, says NEA

October 20, 2017

Bibek Subedi, The Kathmandu Post, 20 Oct 2017 

The Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has been working to ensure that there is adequate and uninterrupted power during the Tihar festival when demand for energy spikes with everybody draping their houses with strings of lights. 

According to the state-owned power utility, energy demand is estimated to reach 1,200 MW on Thursday, and it has made arrangements to make available 1,252 MW.

“As we have a 52 MW cushion, we are confident that Nepalis will be able to celebrate their second biggest festival without power shortages,” said Prabal Adhikari, spokesperson for the NEA. 

About 802 MW out of the total supply of 1,252 MW will be received from domestic hydropower projects -- 442 MW from NEA-owned plants and 360 MW from privately owned hydropower projects. The remaining 450 MW with imported from India through various cross-border transmission lines. 

The NEA will be importing 30 MW each through the Tanakpur-Mahendranagar and Ramnagar-Gandak cross-border transmission lines. Additional power will be imported through various other cross-border transmission lines.    

Apart from the electricity imported from India and generated by domestic hydropower power projects, the NEA has the option of drawing 10 MW from a diesel plant in Hetauda. “In case of an emergency, we can generate electricity from the diesel plant which will increase our cushion to 62 MW,” said Adhikari.     

Besides making arrangements to ensure adequate power supply, the NEA has concentrated on improving the distribution system throughout the country considering the festive season. The authority has tried to distribute load evenly through its substations and feeders. 

“We have transferred load from substations and feeders where there is high demand to those where there is low demand,” said Adhikari. “We have even changed the transformers at various places.” 

The NEA’s senior management including Managing Director Kulman Ghising has been working hard to ensure uninterrupted power supply throughout the country. “We have formed teams at various substations which will respond to any power supply disruption immediately,” said Adhikari. “If there is a disruption at any place, power will restored within half an hour.” 

A NEA team led by Ghising is scheduled to be at its load dispatch centre at Syuchatar to respond to any problem that might arise. The team will remain at the centre until demand for electricity goes down.