Nepal, India reach ‘milestone’ deal on trade, transmission of electricity

Nepal and India have agreed to increase power trade and build more cross-border transmission lines while upgrading the existing ones in a bid to scale up the bilateral trade of electricity.

During the 10th joint secretary-level Joint Working Group and the secretary-level Joint Steering Committee held in Jaipur, India on February 17-18, the two sides also fixed a deadline for the completion of building and upgrade works on cross-border power lines, indicating the two sides’ commitments.

Nepal officials described the agreements reached between the two sides as a ‘milestone’ to ensure a foreign market for Nepal’s electricity.

According to a statement issued by the Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation on Sunday, the two countries agreed to increase the volume of power that can be transmitted via the 400kV Dhalkebar-Muzaffarpur transmission line to 800MW from the current 600MW.

Nepal suffered power spillage in the last wet season, forcing many power plants to halt generation. “India has agreed to review its existing approval process for Nepali power projects under which they are allowed to export only for a year,” said Prabal Adhikari, director of power trade at Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), who is a member of the Nepali delegation.

Currently, Nepal is allowed to sell the Indian power market 452.6MW of electricity generated by 10 hydropower projects. Nepal is awaiting approval for more Nepali power projects from Indian authorities in order to export the electricity generated to its southern neighbor.

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